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Cancer / Oncology refers to growth of a bulk, mass or tumor. Oncology is concerned with:

  • The diagnosisof any cancer in a person
  • Therapy (e.g.surgery,chemotherapy,radiotherapyand other modalities)
  • Follow-up ofcancer patientsafter successful treatment
  • Palliative care of patients with terminal malignancies

The most important screening tool remains the medical history: the character of the complaints and any specific symptoms (fatigue,weight loss, unexplained anemia, fever of unknown origin, paraneoplastic phenomena and other signs). Sometimes a physical examination will reveal the location of a malignancy.

Diagnostic methods include:

  • Biopsy, either incisional or excisional, or Resection; are the only ways that a definitive diagnosis of cancer can be made
  • Endoscopy, either upper or lower gastrointestinal, bronchoscopy, or nasendoscopy
  • X-rays,CT scanning,MRI scanning,PET scan,ultrasoundand other radiological techniques
  • Scintigraphy,Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography,Positron emission tomographyand other methods ofnuclear medicine
  • Blood tests, includingtumor markers, which can increase the suspicion of certain types of tumors or even be pathognomonic of a particular disease

Apart from in diagnosis, these modalities (especially imaging by CT scanning) are often used to determine operability, i.e. whether it issurgically possible to remove a tumor in its entirety. Generally, a tissue diagnosis (from a biopsy) is considered essential for the proper identification of cancer.

Treatment modalities for a cancer patients can include either all or some of the following in varying combinations:

  • Surgical excision / removal
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Transplant Procedure
  • Stem Cell Therapy
  • Palliative Treatment

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