A rural Indian oncologist
Pankaj Chowdhary is a consultant in Padhar, a tribal area of India
I originally planned to go into psychiatry, but competition for postgraduate training was fierce. I spent six months in oncology when I did my house jobs and decided that this was the job for me. Oncology is a fascinating specialty, requiring a broad knowledge base of anatomy, biochemistry, physics, and pathology. Your aptitude and skills are tested daily, and there is no room for getting bored.
I have the opportunity to practise preventive, curative, and supportive medicine. In a single morning I might make a new diagnosis of cancer, biopsy a suspicious lesion, administer a dose of chemotherapy, plan the most effective course of radiotherapy, and educate a family on the harmful effects of tobacco use.
In men, head and neck cancers are by far the most common, followed by oesophageal and lung cancers. Cervical cancers are the most common in women, closely followed by breast and head and neck