Preventive Oncology is a subspecialty area of oncology that focuses on the identification, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer-causing factors. .
Preventive Oncology is a subspecialty area of oncology that focuses on the identification, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer-causing factors. It is based on a preventative approach that focuses on early screening and detection of malignant signs and providing adequate therapy at the earliest. The number of growing cases of cancer in India has propelled the need for specialists in the domain of preventive oncology. It is predicted that India may witness 15.7 lakhs cases by 2025, which is around a 13% increase in cases from the year 2020. And the majority of these cases are detected in advanced stages of the disease. And approximately 33% of fatalities caused due to cancer can be avoided by just behavioural and lifestyle changes. These changes include protected sex, minimal or zero consumption of tobacco, following a healthy diet, and the use of preventive vaccinations. Thus, it becomes vital to retain the best of talent in the field of oncology to alleviate the progression of tumour cells through prevention and early detection. This is an exciting time for oncology as many research studies have been happening in this field. This has promoted the shift from time-consuming and old methods to the identification of chemical agents for chemoprevention, from general strategies to developing more precise personalised evaluation of cancer-causing factors. Hence, the future scope in the domain is also very promising.
DM in Preventive Oncology is targeted to develop the specialists with the required skill sets that can either prevent cancer or aid in delaying its progression. It enables the student to gain proficiency in the administration of cancer-causing factors using highly advanced techniques and medical tests. The nature of the course is to provide rigorous didactic lectures and first-hand practical experience of advanced laboratory training in this field of medicine. It is aimed at students wishing to pursue a career in the speciality of the preventive oncology medical system. The course is designed to prepare the students in all aspects of preventive oncology along with its allied subspecialties of palliative care, epidemiology, biometric methodology, site-specific tumour study, cancer control and population science, epigenetic changes and many other concepts. As one can witness the numerous complexities of pre-treatment and post-treatment, it has become important to specialise the learners in the fundamental principles of preventive oncology so that they can be equipped well to render their consultative service too. It is expected that during the course the students will gain proficiency in many aspects of preventive oncology and will be able to cater to the needs of the patient in alliance with the various national health policies like the national cancer control programme and compliance with professional ethical methods. The curriculum is designed to ensure students participation in treatment planning sessions, logbook clinical audit, seminars, journal clubs, case conferences, viva, grand round presentations and practical exposure of first-hand knowledge and theories of teachings. The students are given specialized clinical training in cancer screening techniques. These include a clinical breast examination, mammography, digital rectal examination, PSA test, PAP test, whole-body MRI. Hence, the students need to prepare themselves in all facets of preventive oncology and be ready to take a pivotal role in the saving lives of cancer patients.
The course can be taken by the candidates who have completed MD in Medicine or its equivalent from a recognized university. The DM programme takes 3 years to get completed. A career in this field is very promising as one can seek employment in sectors like government hospitals, private clinics, research centres, laboratories, medical universities and many more. The job roles offered are consultant, preventive oncologist, medical oncologists, professor, oncologist specialists and many others. After the completion of the DM course, one can also opt for research work or higher studies.