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Surgery for the Treatment of Cancer

Surgery is the oldest type of cancer therapy and still an effective treatment for many types of cancer. Surgical oncologists perform procedures to diagnose cancer; to remove all or some of cancer or tumor; to find out where the cancer is located; to find out if cancer has spread or is affecting the functions of other organs in the body; to restore the body's appearance or function; and/or to relieve side effects.

Types of surgery:

  • Debulking surgery
  • Diagnostic surgery
  • Primary or curative surgery
  • Palliative surgery
  • Preventive surgery
  • Reconstructive or plastic surgery
  • Staging surgery
  • Tumor removal

How does surgery work against cancer?

Surgery can treat cancer in many ways, including:

  • Removing a small piece of something that could be cancerous to check it for cancer cells (biopsy)
  • Seeing how much cancer is in the body and how far it has spread (staging)
  • Removing all the cancer
  • Removing most of the cancer so that other treatments, such as radiation or chemo, can work better
  • Treating problems caused by the cancer
  • Inserting devices to help with cancer treatment, including feeding tubes or IV access tubes
  • Helping replace or fix body parts following cancer treatment, such as replacing a bone that has been removed
  • Trying to prevent someone from getting cancer

How is it performed?

Depending on the type of procedure you need, surgery will either be performed traditionally or with a minimally invasive technique, using robotics. Surgeries are performed in BRG’s operating rooms, and depending on the type of procedure, patients may recover in the hospital or at home.