Surgery can be used in many different ways in cancer treatment.
Surgery is the most common form of cancer treatment, and can be used alone or in combination with other treatments.
Surgery often plays several roles in cancer therapy. It offers the greatest chance for cure of many cancerous tumors, especially when the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body. In addition, newly developed, less invasive forms of surgery often allow removal of a tumor using a more limited operation.
The roles surgery can play are:
- Curative: Removal of a cancerous tumor from the body.
- Preventive: Removal of tissue that isn't yet cancerous, but may develop into a tumor.
- Diagnostic: Removal of a tissue sample for testing and evaluation to determine if cancer is present, and what type it may be.
- Staging: Determination of the extent and spread of cancer in the body.
- Debulking: Removal of a portion of a tumor when removal of the entire tumor may pose a danger. This is followed by other treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy.
- Palliative: Used at advanced stages to relieve discomfort or correct other problems the cancer may have created.
- Supportive: Used to support other forms of treatment, such as the insertion of a catheter for chemotherapy.
- Restorative: Repairs function or appearance of an area after curative surgery. Breast reconstruction is an example of restorative surgery.
There are also specialty forms of surgery used at the Phoebe Cancer Center:
- Cryosurgery uses extremely cold temperatures to kill cancerous cells.
- Electrosurgery uses an electric current to kill cancerous cells.
- Laser Surgery uses high-intensity light beams for very precise procedures.
- Microsurgery allows the surgeon to use a microscope to operate in extremely precise ways in sensitive areas, such as the eyes.
- Surgical Oncology is a form of surgery where tumors, lymph nodes and cancerous cells are removed to prevent the potential spread of cancer.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 1-800-490-0684.