Oncology or cancerology is the medical speciality which deals with the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of patients who are affected by cancer of the organs or by a malignant blood disease. It includes medical oncology, haemato-oncology and radio-oncology.
Medical oncology treats cancers of the organs (breast or lung, for example) or of the lymph nodes (lymphoma). These treatments are administered either intravenously, subcutaneously or orally, and they are often referred to using the generic term “chemotherapy”. Other substances are also used, as is the case with hormonal and anti-hormonal treatments, as well as with targeted therapies which treat the cells’ molecular mechanisms.
Haematology uses similar therapies and involves more specific treatment of malignant diseases of the blood or of the bone marrow (leukaemias, for example) and lymphoma.
Radio-oncology (radiotherapy) treats patients using radiation administered externally, or sometimes internally.
All of these therapies aim to destroy the diseased cells or to block their multiplication.
The choice of treatment is usually made during weekly multidisciplinary consultation meetings with doctors from other specialities (surgery, gynaecology, radiology, pathology and medicine).
The doctors and healthcare staff meet several times a week in order to organise and coordinate the support care (analgesia, nutrition, psychological and social support, etc.) in cooperation with any associated specialities, referring doctors, medico-social centres, patient associations, the LVCC and oncoreha-vs, a network within the Canton for oncological rehabilitation.
The oncologists from Valais Hospital work together with the Hôpital Universitaire de Berne (Inselspital), the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) and the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG) as well as with the Swiss Clinical Research Group (SAKK).