Oncopathology is a branch of medical science that deals with the identification, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of tumours..
Oncopathology is a branch of medical science that deals with the identification, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of tumours. It helps in the study of carcinogenesis. It is primarily dedicated to the study of cancer and tumour analysis. This field of discipline provides expertise and competency in the practice of molecular pathology, cytopathology and surgical pathology. Inspection and dissection of the specimen along with its surgical report submission form the majority of their work. Many notable research papers have been written in the field of cancer. And according to the national cancer registry programme 2020, 1 in every 9 Indian will get diagnosed with cancer and in total, 1.3 million cases will be reported. The projected number of patients has been increasing despite growing cancer awareness. This rise in cases demands the need for specialists whose expertise lies in cancer care. And these specialists are called cancer pathologists or oncopathologists. They are well versed in the diagnosis of cancer and forms the crux of cancer management. Future research scope in the field also looks promising with regard to the development underwent in this field. Major breakthrough in the study of cancer includes next-generation sequencing, CRISPR, digital droplet PCR and SHREAD gene therapy. Thus, the need for specialization in oncopathology is more than ever.
DM in oncopathology is a thoroughly guided and highly supervised course. The purpose of the course is to provide intensive didactic information and first-hand practical experience of laboratory training in this field of medicine. It is aimed at students wishing to pursue a career in the speciality of the medical system. The course is designed to prepare the students in all aspects of oncopathology along with its allied subspecialties of etiopathogenesis & pathophysiologic factors of cancer, epidemiology of cancer, general aspects of cancer staging, Etiopathogenesis of cancer, general aspects of oncopathology reporting, the clinical aspect of cancer, various kinds of tumours like brain tumours, lung tumour, renal tumour, breast tumours, endocrine tumours, female reproductive tumours; genetics and epigenetics of cancer; surgical pathology, cytopathology and many other concepts. With the growing number of complications in the cases, it has become important to specialise the learners in the general principles of oncopathology so that they can render their consultative assistance too. It is expected that during the course the students will gain proficiency in many aspects of medicinal science and will be able to cater to the needs of the patient in alliance with the national health policies in the field of pathologies like the national cancer control programme and professional ethical practices. The curriculum is designed in such a manner that it demands participation in research work, clinical audit, slide seminars, journal clubs, Clinico-pathological meet, case conferences and discussions, viva, grand round presentations and practical exposure of first-hand knowledge and theories of teachings. The curriculum also provides additional competency in interpreting, diagnosing and reporting of immunohistochemistry related cases; analysis and operating of subordinate tests like FISH and molecular tests, laboratory practices like quality control, safety, quality assurance etc; techniques like cytology, electron microscopy, next-generation sequencing, frozen section etc. Overall, the course prepares the students for a highly skilled job through both intensive didactic lectures and advanced training in all facets of oncopathology.
The course can be taken by the candidates who have completed MD or DNB in pathology from a recognized university. The duration of the course spans 3 years. 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 neuro consultant, professor, oncopathologists, researcher, and many others. And if one wants to enrich one’s understanding of this field, the option of further studies is always open.