Department of Medical Oncology


1.Title of the Course

-M. Med. Sc. (Medical Oncology) -(Master of Medical Science (Medical Oncology)

2. Duration of the course (3 years)

3. Preamble

Non-communicable diseases (NCD), including cancers, have emerged as a leading  cause of mortality and morbidity in many countries of the South East Asia Region. Globally as well, the incidence has been on the rise and, in Myanmar also, the incidence has been continuing to increase. According to the Annual Statistical Reports of the Yangon General Hospital , neoplasms are among the top three commonest leading causes of morbidity and mortality.
It is universally accepted that cancer chemotherapy is a specialized subject and cancer chemotherapy should go by set protocols under close supervision so that the patients, particularly those with chemo-curable cancers, get the maximal therapeutic benefits with least possible side effects. On the other hand, it is equally important to withhold chemotherapy from those who are not likely to benefit from it. Since most of the cases are incurable, preventive measures, palliative care and research activities also form essential parts of oncology. Moreover, since cancer can afflict any organ in the body, a sound general medical knowledge on the part of the clinician becomes an essential prerequisite for oncology training. Therefore, apart from cancer chemotherapy, the training in medical oncology encompasses preventive measures, palliative care, research activities, general medical training and training in team-work which forms the basis of multidisciplinary approach in cancer management.
Ethical issues also form a critical part of clinical oncology training. Many a time, in cases of chemo-curable cancers, clinicians tend to settle for clinical remission only without striving for cure or long-tend survival benefit. This sort of situation arises mainly from fear of side effect of more aggressive treatment both on the part of the clinicians as well as the patients. It is the ethical responsibility of the attending clinicians to explain the difference between complete remission and cure, and to persuade the patient to strive for cure in cases of chemo-curable cancers. This is a tragic situation, which lay people do not easily understand. Ethical issues also play an essential role in palliative care of cancer patients, where clinicians have a dual responsibility, namely to preserve life and to relieve suffering.
Clinical oncology is also one of the dynamic and active fields for medical research, because the majority of cancers still remained to be conquered. The increasing magnitude of cancer burden in our country demands more and more qualified oncologists and the uniqueness of the subject itself necessitates a well-organized and logically structured training courses. This training can be conducted cost-effectively in the country and it will also serve as a platform for further advanced studies in the related fields of medicine, both locally and abroad.

4. General Aims and Objects

4.1 General Aims

(a)  To provide postgraduate training for the candidates with a view to achieving clinical competency in                medical oncology.
(b) To produce qualified medical oncologists with potentials for further advanced training in the related fields of medicine, according to the health needs of the country, in conformity with the National Health  Policy and Plans.
(c) The trained medical oncologist is also expected to fulfill the increasing demands of his widening role  as health care provider in the community i.e., to be able to adopt and practice holistic concept of health  care with community orientation.

4.2 General Objectives

(a)  The candidates will be trained so that they will become highly competent in dealing with prevalent and       emerging malignment diseases and their related problems and to take independent charge as consult medical oncologists.
(b)  The candidates will be made familiar with the basic principles, methodology and ethical aspects of  clinical research.
(c)  The candidates will be trained so that they will develop self-reliance and self-motivation in the pursuit        of  medical knowledge and skills, which are the pre-requisites for medical education in later years.
(d)  The candidates will be made familiar with state health policy, plans and organization of health  services.
(e)  The candidates will be trained so that they will become familiar with, and are able to work in Conformity with, existing medico-legal regulations and code of  medical ethics.  

5. Selection of Candidates

Selection of Candidates will be done by the board of post-graduate studies of  University of Medicine (1).