Service Details

Onco Surgery (Cancer Surgery)

Surgery — an operation to repair or remove part of your body to diagnose or treat a condition — remains the foundation of cancer treatment. Your doctor may use cancer surgery to achieve any number of goals, from diagnosing your cancer to treating it to relieving the symptoms it causes. Cancer surgery may be your only treatment, or it may be supplemented with other treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy.

How is cancer surgery used in treatment?

Cancer surgery may be used to achieve one or more goals. Common reasons you might undergo surgery include:

Cancer prevention. If your doctor suspects you'll develop cancer in certain tissues or organs, he or she may recommend removing those tissues or organs before cancer develops. For example, if you have a genetic condition called familial polyposis, your doctor may use cancer surgery to remove your colon and rectum because you have a high risk of developing colon cancer in the future

Diagnosis. Your doctor may use a form of cancer surgery to remove (biopsy) all or part of a tumor — allowing the tumor to be studied under a microscope — to determine whether the growth is cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign).

Staging. Cancer surgery helps your doctor define how advanced your cancer is, called its stage. Surgery allows your doctor to evaluate the size of your tumor and determine whether it's traveled to your lymph nodes. Additional tests might be used to gauge your cancer's stage.

Primary treatment. For many tumors, surgery is the best chance for a cure, especially if the cancer is localized and hasn't spread. If your doctor believes your cancer hasn't spread, he or she may recommend surgery to remove the cancerous tumor as your primary treatment.

Debulking. When it's not possible to remove all of a cancerous tumor — for example, because doing so may severely harm an organ — your doctor may remove as much as possible (debulking) in order to make chemotherapy or radiation more effective.

Relieving symptoms or side effects. Sometimes surgery is used to improve your quality of life rather than treat the cancer itself — for example, to relieve pain caused by a tumor that's pressing on a nerve or bone. Another example might include removing a tumor that's obstructing your intestine. Surgery is often combined with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation. Whether you opt for additional cancer treatment depends on your cancer and its stage