Oncology has perhaps the best information sites of all the specialities on the web. Cancercare.com is a fantastic information website with live counseling, support groups, education, publications, financial assistance, community programs. And there are many more in the same league. All other specialties would be blessed to have such a site.
The blog community is well represented in Oncology. Most of these sites are informational, and there are many good personal webblogs about coping with a particular type of cancer. There is one particular blog, written by a pediatric oncologist, which is outstanding.
There are many educational apps in the Oncology field. Of particular interest, are the Cochrane apps, which are basically the study of large numbers of patients treated in a certain way, and the results. The study of such “Big Data” will, most likely , play an increasingly important role as time progresses, because, as the studies get bigger, the truer answers will be reached.
Oncology is basically the study of molecules, and their aberrant behavior to transform to cancer cells. The age of digitalization has brought miniaturizaton of machinery used to diagnose cancers, such as the PET scan. The PET scan is a very important tool in oncology to deliniate growths of cancer, and currently it is being much made smaller, so that it can be combined with an MRI, with resultant benefits of both machines when used together.
Microscopy is improving exponentially, which also improves the ability to diagnose the true borders of a cancer’s growth. Digitalization has brought down the cost of the very useful Proton therapy, to a fraction of its former costs, so that it is likely to be used by more cancer centers that can now afford it. Proton therapy has proven itelf to be very useful because of its accuracy in destroying cancerous tissues.
In short, the benefits of Big Data, miniaturization, and nanomedicine (the study of minute particles to promote healthcare) will all help future developments in both the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. In addition, genomic studies will continue to improve and also may prove to be effective in selected cancers.