The Department of Oncology has one of the largest, most comprehensive cancer diagnosis and treatment programs in the world. It is closely aligned with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, designated by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer center. The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center ranks in the top tier of cancer centers in the United States for cancer research, treatment, and education. The Department of Oncology works in collaboration with other departments and divisions at Mayo Clinic to provide patients with all aspects of cancer care.

Each year at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, more than 12,000 patients are diagnosed and treated for 200-plus different types of cancer. Adults with cancer of the colon and rectum, breast, prostate, and lung comprise the largest number of patients seen at Mayo Clinic's Oncology Department. Specialists at Mayo Clinic also have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of every kind of cancer, including:

Novel drug, immunologic, and biological targeted therapies and gene therapies are being studied intensively within the department to determine their potential for cancer treatment. This clinical expertise aligns strongly with the research programs of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. This alignment makes it possible for eligible patients to enroll in cutting-edge clinical cancer research studies, receive the most advanced treatments, and learn about their illness to actively participate in decisions about their treatment.

The Department of Oncology includes more than 50 oncologists and allied health professionals specializing in Medical Oncology. Members of the department work closely with colleagues in the Department of Radiation Oncology to provide each patient with accurate diagnosis and treatment using one or more types of cancer-killing therapies, and individualized care. They also collaborate with physicians and allied health professionals in related medical specialties — for example, Radiology, the Pain Clinic, Psychiatry and Psychology, Infectious Diseases and essentially all surgical subspecialties — to ensure that cancer patients and their families have access to total care for their physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs. Mayo Clinic's Cancer Education Center complements these efforts by providing patients and families with a large library and resource service devoted exclusively to cancer information.

Since its founding nearly 100 years ago, Mayo Clinic has offered cancer treatment. More than 100,000 adults have been diagnosed and treated in the Department of Oncology. For some, coming to Mayo Clinic was a last resort. More commonly, patients choose Mayo Clinic early in their diagnosis to access more treatment options to fight their cancer, and experience better outcomes and higher rates of healing and survival.