Surgery is the oldest type of cancer treatment, and in many cases, still works well today to treat many types of cancer. There are numerous types of surgeries that can be used as part of cancer care.
Diagnosis: This type of surgery is usually referred to as a biopsy. There are many types of biopsies. Sometimes a sample of tissue is taken, and other times the entire tumor is removed to look at under a microscope and determine if disease is present. This type of surgery is often the first step in a patient’s journey.
Staging: Staging surgery is done to determine how large a tumor is, if it has spread and where it has spread to in the body.
Removal of tumor: This surgery removes the tumor and usually some of the tissue surrounding it.
Reconstructive surgery: This surgery can help with the effects of cancer treatment. Sometimes, it is done at the same time the tumor is removed, or a patient may wait until they have healed or had other treatments.
Debulking: Sometimes a surgeon is unable to remove all of a tumor and uses this procedure to remove as much of the tumor as possible.
Palliative surgery: Many times, a tumor can cause painful or disturbing side effects. This surgery relieves these side effects and improves a patient’s quality of life.
Prevention: Some patients choose to have surgery to reduce their risk of developing a specific cancer, such as colon polyps that can turn into colon cancer or gene mutations or family history tied to an elevated risk of breast cancer.
If you have any questions about the options listed, please reach out to the Cancer Institute at 330.375.7280.