Cancer surgery – an operation to remove part of your body to diagnose or treat cancer – is still the basis of cancer treatment.
How is cancer surgery used in treatment?
The most common causes of cancer surgery include:
Cancer prevention. If you are at an increased risk of developing cancer in certain tissues or organs, your doctor may recommend removing these tissues or organs before a cancer develops.
For example, if you are born with a gene In a condition known as familial adenomatous polyposis, your doctor may have bowel surgery to remove the colon and rectum because you have an increased risk of to get colon cancer part of a tumor that allows the study of the tumor under a microscope to see if the growth is cancerous (cancerous) or not cancerous (benign).
staging. Cancer surgeries help your doctor define how Adva is nced your cancer is its stage. Surgery will allow your doctor to assess the size of your tumor and determine if it has entered your lymph nodes. Assessing your stage of cancer may require further testing.
Primary treatment. In many tumors, cancer surgery is the best chance for healing, especially if the cancer is localized and has not spread.
Debulking If it is not possible to completely remove a cancerous tumor – for example, because it can severely damage an organ – your doctor may remove as much as possible (debulking) to make chemotherapy or radiation more effective do.  Alleviation of symptoms or side effects. Sometimes surgery is used to improve your quality of life instead of treating the cancer itself, such as: To relieve pain caused by a tumor that presses on a nerve or bone, or to remove a cancer tumor that blocks the intestine.
Surgery is often combined with other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. Whether you opt for additional cancer treatment depends on your type of cancer, stage, and general health.
How are traditional cancer surgery performed?
Traditionally, the main purpose of cancer surgery is to cure your cancer by removing everything from your body. The surgeon usually does this by cutting into your body and removing the cancer along with some surrounding healthy tissue to make sure the entire cancer is removed.
Your surgeon may also remove some lymph nodes in the area to determine if the cancer is present. This will help your doctor to assess the chances of recovery and the need for further treatment.
In breast cancer surgery, your doctor may remove the cancer by removing the entire breast (mastectomy) or just removing the part of your breast containing the cancer and some of the surrounding tissue (lumpectomy).
In lung cancer surgery, your doctor may attempt to remove part of a lung (lobectomy) or the entire lung (pneumonectomy) in one operation to ensure that all cancer has been removed.
In both examples, the surgeon may also remove some surrounding lymph nodes at the time of surgery to see if the cancer has spread.
What else are techniques used in cancer surgery?
There are many other types of surgical methods for treating cancer and precancerous diseases, and researchers continue to research new methods. Some common types of cancer surgery include:
Cryosurgery. In this type of surgery, your doctor uses very cold material such as liquid nitrogen spray or a cold probe to freeze cancer cells or cells that may arise, and destroy cancerous cells, such as irregular cells in your cervix, that could become cervical cancer.
electrosurgery. By applying high-frequency electrical currents, your doctor can kill cancer cells, for example, in your mouth or on your skin. 19659030] Laser surgery. In laser surgery used to treat many cancers, cancer cells shrink or vaporize with high-intensity light rays.
Mohs surgery. Useful for removing cancer in certain sensitive areas of the skin, such as near the eye, and assessing the depth of a cancer, this method of surgery carefully removes the layer of cancer layer by layer with a scalpel. After removing a layer, your doctor will assess it under a microscope and continue in this fashion until all abnormal cells have been removed and the surrounding tissue shows no signs of cancer.
Laparoscopic surgery. A surgeon uses a laparoscope to look into your body without making any large incisions. Instead, several small incisions are made and a small camera and surgical tools are inserted into your body. The surgeon monitors a monitor that projects what the camera sees in your body. The smaller incisions mean a faster recovery and a lower risk of complications. Laparoscopic surgery is used in cancer diagnostics, staging, treatment, and symptom relief.
robotic surgery. In robotic surgery, the surgeon sits down from the operating table and observes a screen representing a 3-D image of the patient area being processed. The surgeon uses hand controls that tell a robot how to maneuver surgical tools for the operation. Robotic surgery helps the surgeon to operate in hard-to-reach areas.
Operation with natural openings. The surgery with natural openings is currently under investigation to operate abdominal organs without cutting through the skin. Instead, surgeons allow surgical instruments to pass through a natural orifice such as the mouth, rectum or vagina.
For example, a surgeon may guide surgical instruments through the neck and stomach during a natural opening surgery. A small incision is made in the stomach wall and surgical instruments are inserted into the abdominal cavity to take a sample of liver tissue or to remove the gallbladder.
An operation with natural openings is experimental, and thus only a few operations have been performed. The doctors hope that this can reduce the risk of infection, pain and other complications of the surgery.
Cancer treatment continues to develop. Researchers are exploring other surgical techniques aimed at making less invasive procedures.
What can you expect before and after cancer surgery?
The preparation and cure of cancer surgery depends on the surgery. In general, however, you may expect certain similarities, including:
- Preparation. Do you expect to receive specific tests such as blood tests, urine tests, X-rays, and other imaging tests in the previous days? Your Surgery These tests will help your doctor determine your surgical requirements, such as your blood type, if you need a transfusion, and possible To recognize risks such as infections.
- anesthesia. If you are undergoing surgery, you are probably in need of some anesthetic – a drug that blocks the perception of pain. Your options for anesthesia depend on the type of surgery.
- recovery. Depending on your surgery, you can stay in the hospital for a while before you go home. Your health team will give you instructions for your recovery, such as: For example, how to take care of wounds, what foods or activities to avoid, and what medicines to take.
What are the risks of cancer surgery?
What? Side effects that you may experience after a cancer operation depend on your specific surgery. In general, most cancer surgeries have a risk of:
pain. Pain is a common side effect of most surgeries. Some cause more pain than others. Your health team will tell you how to minimize your pain and will provide medication to reduce or eliminate the pain.
infection. The site of your operation may become infected. Your health team will show you how to treat your wound after surgery. Follow this routine carefully to avoid infection, which may prolong your recovery time after surgery. In rare cases of infection, your doctor will likely treat it with antibiotics.
Loss of organ function. To remove your cancer, the surgeon may need to remove a whole organ. For example, renal cancer may require the removal of a kidney (nephrectomy).
In some such operations, the remainder of the organ may function to compensate for the loss, but in other situations, it may be compromised. For example, the removal of a lung (pneumonectomy) can lead to breathing difficulties.
bleeding. There is a risk of bleeding in all operations. Your surgeon will try to minimize this risk.
blood clots. While recovering from surgery, there is an increased risk of developing a blood clot. Although the risk is low, this complication can be severe.
Blood clots are most common in the legs and may cause swelling and pain.
A blood clot that breaks off and migrates into a lung (pulmonary embolism) is a dangerous and sometimes fatal condition.
Your surgeon takes precautions to prevent the formation of blood clots. For example, if you get up as quickly as possible after surgery and get out of bed or prescribe a blood-thinning medication to reduce the risk of a blood clot.
Altered bowel and bladder function. Immediately after your surgery you may experience difficulty in defecating or bladder emptying. This usually takes a few days, depending on your specific surgery.
Regardless of the cancer treatment your doctor recommends, you are probably worried about your condition and the treatment process. Knowing what to expect can help. Use this information to help you ask knowledgeable questions when talking to your doctor.
Release date: 2003-08-15