Surgery is the first treatment option when a cancer diagnosis is made. An estimated 60 percent of cancer patients will undergo surgery during their cancer journey. In many cancers, including rare ones, surgical removal of the tumor is still the primary treatment. Cancer surgeries can be done by general surgeons or surgeons who specialize in cancer-related surgeries or other techniques .
Surgery, as a cancer treatment, may be used for many purposes:
- curative treatment
- diagnostic treatment (removal of tissue samples for testing and evaluation)
- palliative treatment (to relieve discomfort and improve quality of life)
- preventive treatment (removal of tissue that does not yet contain cancer cells but has a high risk of turning cancerous)
- restorative treatment (to repair or replace damaged or destroyed areas of the body)
- supportive treatment (surgical placement of a device to aid in the delivery of medications)
Common Cancer Surgeries Performed at Trinity:
Two types of breast cancer surgeries are widely performed, depending on the stage and type of breast cancer. Lumpectomies remove only cancerous tissue and preserve the shape of the breasts. Cases that have reached a later stage may call for a mastectomy, or surgical removal of the entire breast.
The development of polyps, or small cancerous growths in the colon, rectum, and appendix, is the first sign of colon cancer. In most cases, these polyps are surgically removed, either individually or along with a section of the attached colon. More advanced cases may require resectioning the colon, a surgical procedure that can be done in traditional surgical methods or with robotic assisted surgery.
Cervical cancer is nearly always caused by a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, and treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Lung cancer surgery is commonly recommended for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Procedures call for excising a portion of the lung, though the area and size of the tissue removed depends on the progression of cancer. Surgeons may remove either a lobe, a functional segment, or an entire lung.
Ovarian and Uterine Cancer
Tumors on the ovaries are dealt with surgically by removing one ovary, both ovaries, or even connected structures such as the fallopian tubes and uterus. Early stages of ovarian cancer may even permit procedures that remove growths while preserving the patient's fertility.
Traditionally, prostate cancer growths that have not spread beyond the prostate are surgically removed by cutting through the abdomen or the skin. Surgery options can include traditional surgery, minimally-invasive robotic surgery or radioactive seed implantation.
Surgical excision is the preferred method for many types of brain tumors that are benign and localized. It is often possible to remove most of the cancerous growth. However, certain primary brain tumors are more difficult to operate on and the specific area of the brain affected will determine the correct procedure.
To find a surgeon at Trinity visit Find a Doctor.
To learn more about our cancer diagnosis methods and treatment options, please visit our Cancer Center.