The key difference between medical and clinical oncology stems from the treatment procedure and management of cancer. Medical oncology provides the initial diagnosis of cancer and involves assessing and treating cancer while clinical oncology focuses primarily on the techniques of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in managing cancer.
Oncology is the field of study that concerns the development, complications, diagnosis, treatment and management of cancer. In this regard, both clinical and medical oncology provide an effective treatment methodology for cancer.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Medical Oncology
3. What is Clinical Oncology
4. Similarities Between Medical and Clinical Oncology
5. Side by Side Comparison – Medical vs Clinical Oncology in Tabular Form
What is Medical Oncology?
Medical oncology deals with the medical diagnosis of cancer. Oncology is the area that studies different types of cancers and their aetiology. Clinical oncology follows medical oncology diagnosis. A versatile specialist doctor performs a medical oncology diagnosis based on the signs, symptoms and other biochemical tests of the subject. A medical oncologist primarily would administer medication to the patient and further advice on the type of clinical oncology management methods that should be used.
Moreover, medical oncology also involves organ transplantation and surgery in cancer treatment and management. Furthermore, it also provides treatment plans for cancer patients which include the administration of drugs. The area of medical oncology includes research based on the unknown aetiology of different types of cancer. Many funding bodies support medical oncologists to perform research on the field of oncology.
What is Clinical Oncology?
Clinical oncology is the branch of oncology that deals with the clinical diagnosis of cancer. In clinical oncology, doctors consider effective methods of radiotherapy and chemotherapy for management and treatment of cancer. Hence, clinical oncology does not involve performing surgery as a treatment for cancer. The main aim of clinical oncology is to manage the state of cancer depending on the severity of the condition.
The process of clinical oncology therapies is wide and continuous. Clinical oncologists, thus, determine the most effective mode of radiotherapy or chemotherapy that depends on the stage of cancer, the site of the cancer development and the host condition. The areas of chemotherapy and radiotherapy are rapidly increasing to improve its technology and reduce the harmful effects of the treatment. At present, clinical oncology focuses on targeted chemotherapy and targeted radiotherapy for cancer.
Furthermore, clinical oncologists require prior training on various techniques and they function to manage all types of cancers including breast cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer.
What are the Similarities Between Medical and Clinical Oncology?
- Medical and Clinical Oncology are two branches of Oncology.
- Both branches of oncology deal simultaneously with the treatment and management of cancer.
- Moreover, both types apply to all types of cancer.
- Also, both require expert personal or medical practitioners.
- Additionally, both forms of oncology require sophisticated technology and equipment.
- Besides, both areas may result in harmful side effects.
What is the Difference Between Medical and Clinical Oncology?
Oncology has many subfields; primarily, medical and clinical oncology are two subfields based on the diagnosis, treatment and management of the cancer condition. Subsequently, medical oncology deals with the medical diagnosis, treatment and organ transplantation during surgery while clinical oncology focuses on radiotherapy and chemotherapy aspects in cancer treatment and management. So, this is the key difference between medical and clinical oncology. Moreover, medical oncology also focuses on research pertaining to cancer. However, clinical oncology does not focus much on cancer research.
The below infographic provides more comparisons regarding the difference between medical and clinical oncology.
Summary – Medical vs Clinical Oncology
Cancer is a leading health problem across the world. Oncology is the study of cancer and it has two main branches as medical oncology and clinical oncology based on the form of therapy and management. Medical oncology diagnoses cancer in a medical aspect, going into the grass root levels of cancer and predicting treatment, drug administration and finally organ transplantation. Clinical oncology, on the other hand, focuses primarily on radiotherapy and chemotherapy in cancer treatment and management. Thus, this summarizes the difference between medical and clinical oncology. However, both areas function simultaneously to provide an effective treatment plan for cancer.
1. “Medical Oncology.” NHS Choices, NHS, Available here.