Cancer Surgery

Regarded as a traditional form of treatment, cancer surgery or operation is a procedure where the aim is to remove or get rid of the tumor from the body. It is accepted to be the most effective form of treatment for different types of cancer. This procedure is usually done before the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or has attained metastasis. It is the oldest form of cancer treatment and has shown effective results when it comes to the treatment of various types of cancer. Surgery may be used as a stand-alone procedure or may work in combination with other forms of treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy

Different Types of Cancer Surgeries 

Cancer surgery may serve different purposes depending on a person’s case. Some of the different types of cancer surgery include:


  1. Diagnosis: Biopsies can be utilized to diagnose different types of cancer. During such a procedure, the doctor will remove a tissue and take either a small sample or the entire tumor. After the biopsy, a pathologist will place this tissue under a microscope to determine the state of your cancer. 
  2. Staging: Such a type of surgery is meant to determine how large a tumor is and if it has spread to other parts of the body. The doctor will either remove the entire tumor or take a small sample. There is also the possibility that they may take some lymph nodes near the cancer to understand whether the cancer has spread there. 
  3. Tumor removal: This is the most common type of cancer surgery. Such a procedure requires a larger incision than a biopsy. This procedure is also referred to as resection or excision, and during it, the doctor usually takes out the entire tumor and the surrounding healthy tissue. 
  4. Debulking: In such a type of surgery, the focus is to only remove a part of the tumor and not its entirety. This type of surgery is usually recommended when the tumor is too large and removing it in its entirety would result in damaging other parts of your body. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and other types of treatment are recommended for a person after such a procedure. 
  5. Palliative Surgery: The aim of palliative surgery is to relieve a person of pain and improve their quality of life. 
  6. Reconstructive Surgery: Cancer is a disease and it can change the way we live our lives. Reconstructive surgery can be very useful in alleviating the pain and effects that cancer treatments bring. This procedure may be done at the same time when the tumor is removed or after you have received other forms of treatment. 
  7. Prevention: If there is a small growth found in your body, then your doctor may recommend surgery as a way to lower the risk of getting cancer. 

Different Surgical Techniques 

1- Cryosurgery

This type of surgery employs liquid nitrogen spray, a cold probe and other similar cold materials. The cold material freezes and destroys cancer cells.

2- Electrosurgery

In this type of surgery, electric current is used to kill the cancer cells in the body.

3- Laser Surgery

This type of surgery uses beams of light to get rid of the cancer cells in the body.

4- Mohs Surgery

In this procedure, the aim is to remove cancer carefully, layer by layer. As each layer is removed, it is examined under a microscope to look for signs of cancer cells. This is repeated until all of the cancer is eradicated. This type of surgery is usually used on sensitive areas around the skin, such as the eye. 

5- Laparoscopic Surgery

Instead of one large cut, this type of surgery uses several small cuts to get rid of the cancer cells. A tiny camera and other surgical tools are then inserted through these cuts, with a monitor displaying what the camera sees. The surgeon then uses the image projected as a reference point to get rid of the cancer in the body.

6- Robotic Surgery

In this type of surgery, the surgeon is far removed from the operation table and watches a screen that displays a 3D image of the area being operated on. The surgeon guides a robot with his hand movements that tell the robot how to perform the operation. This type of surgery is useful if the cancer is located in areas where it is hard to reach. 

Common Risks of Cancer Surgery

 Some of the common risks associated with a surgical procedure for cancer include:

  1. Loss of organ function: In order to get rid of cancer, there is always the possibility of removing an entire organ from your body. For example, in the case of kidney cancer, your kidney may be surgically removed from your body. 
  2. Fatigue: After an intense procedure such as surgery, a person may experience extreme levels of tiredness and fatigue, which may hinder you from carrying out your responsibilities and other duties.
  3. Blood clots: Recovering from surgery increases the chances of a person developing blood clots. Even though the risk is small, it can develop into something serious. 


Final Note

Surgery is a highly effective form of cancer treatment and has proven to be useful for a wide variety of cancers. A person should consult their doctor and try to understand the benefits and risks of such a procedure before deciding whether or not to avail of such a form of treatment. 

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