Surgery is a conventional treatment for several types of cancers. The surgical intervention is referred by the doctors for the removal of malignant tumor growth and adjoining tissues. Surgery in cancer treatment is the oldest method to deal with the devastating nature of cancer growth which continues to date because of its effectiveness. A surgical oncologist is a medical specialization for doctors who require operating the cancer patient. However, the reasons for surgery recommendation in cancer treatment vary for tumor removal, reviving body function, or relieving side effects. Surgery may also require for diagnosis, location identification, and spreading of the malignancy assessment purposes.
The surgery can take place in a clinic, hospital, or medical center that has the proper infrastructure to pursue the procedure. The duration of recovery varies after surgery depending upon the nature of the surgery, the site of the surgery, and the overall health of the patient. Surgery may be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia. The duration of hospital stay also varies. In some cases overnight stay is required, but in some cases, several days need to stay in the hospital (inpatient surgery) after surgical intervention. In some cases, even same-day release from the hospital may possible (outpatient surgery or ambulatory surgery).
Surgical interventions become refined by using targeted medicines and other treatment modalities to improve cancer patient outcomes. Cancer treatment continues to emerge for better treatment outcomes. Different research studies are comparing the outcomes of different surgical interventions and their long-term effects. Thus the findings of these study analyses help clinicians to decide the selection of techniques for specific cancer, stage, and patient condition. Surgical intervention becomes sophisticated with the advancement of medical technology. Nowadays, some advanced surgical interventions like Video-Assisted Surgery, Genetic sequencing during surgery are some of the advanced technology used during cancer surgery to get a more precise result.
Types of cancer surgery
The types of cancer surgery vary depending upon the underlying cause.
Diagnosis purpose: Maximum cancers require a biopsy to confirm the analysis, wherein a tissue sample is taken from the suspected tumor and examined underneath a microscope for cancer cells. During the surgical intervention, a part of the lump or sample was taken for the exam is referred to as a biopsy. The tissue sample is called a biopsy sample. If the biopsy test shows a positive result, then also make sure to get a confirming opinion from a doctor who specializes in cancer remedies before beginning treatment.
Staging: Cancer staging helps to understand the location of cancer, and its tendency to spread and affect other organs of the body. Doctors do TNM staging by monitoring diagnostic results, and imaging scan reports, by removing part of the tumor as a sample. Cancer staging can be done through clinical © and pathological (p) processes. Clinical staging is conducted by physical examinations and imaging scanning without any surgical intervention. Pathological staging is conducted by monitoring the surgical findings and giving the most detailed cancer information.
Tumor removal: Removing a tumor is common cancer surgery. It can also be called “resection” or “excision”. Your doctor will usually remove the tumor and some healthy tissue around it. The tissue surrounding the tumor is called the margin. Removing a tumor usually requires a larger cut or incision than a biopsy. Sometimes tumor resection is less invasive, such as laparoscopic or robotic surgery. They use small instruments and incisions. With less invasive procedures, you will usually experience less pain and a faster recovery.
Surgery may be the only cancer treatment needed. Alternatively, you may receive other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Debulking: This is surgery to remove some, but not all, of the tumor. Your doctor may not always be able to remove the entire tumor. It can damage other parts of the body or be too large. Resection surgery removes as much of the tumor as possible.
Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or other treatments may be given before or after this type of surgery. It can help shrink tumors and treat cancer.
Palliative surgery: The objective of palliative surgery is to reduce side effects caused by the tumor. It can improve your quality of life if you have advanced cancer. An example could be:
- Relieve nerve pain or stress
- Remove blockages in the digestive system or other areas
- Insert the feed tube or feed hole
- Prevent damage
Reconstructive surgery: Cancer treatment can change how you look or how your body functions. Reconstructive surgery can help improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment. Sometimes reconstructive surgery is performed at the same time as tumor removal. Or you can wait until it heals or gets another treatment. Examples of reconstructive surgery include breast reconstruction after mastectomy and surgery to restore appearance and function after head and neck surgery.
Prevention: You may have surgery to reduce your risk of cancer. For example, if a small growth called a polyp is found during a colonoscopy, surgery to remove it is usually recommended. This is because polyps can turn into colon cancer. Another example is when some high-risk people with breast or ovarian cancer have their breasts or ovaries removed. This may be because they have a strong family history of these cancers or mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. People with these mutations are more likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer. These preventive surgeries can reduce their risk. The type of surgery you have depends on the type of cancer or cancer risk you have.
Are there differences in surgical technique?
Cancer surgery is usually a major surgery. Therefore, researchers continue to work on ways to reduce the overall impact of surgery on the body.
“Open surgery” usually requires 1 large cut (incision). Recovery from open surgery can take some time. Be sure to discuss the expected recovery time with your healthcare team before surgery. This conversation should tell you if you need help at home during your recovery, called nursing care.
Sometimes the surgeon may choose to perform the procedure using a less invasive surgical technique. “Minimally invasive surgery” uses smaller incisions than open surgery. This method also uses cameras, small tools, and other equipment. The advantages of minimally invasive surgery are faster recovery time and less pain. Home care may still be required (see above). Some common types of minimally invasive procedures are listed below.
Laparoscopic surgery: During laparoscopic surgery, doctors make several small incisions in the skin. They passed a thin light tube with a camera through one of the incisions. They work by inserting small instruments through other incisions. There are different types of laparoscopic surgery depending on the area to be treated. Your doctor may also use a robot for this type of surgery. They control the tools on the robot arm.
Laser surgery: Use a narrow beam of high-intensity light to destroy tissue.
Cryosurgery: Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze and destroy abnormal cells.
Mohs operation: This type of surgery is performed to treat skin cancer. This is also called microscope-guided surgery. A thin layer of cancer is removed at the same time. They looked at each layer under a microscope and continued to take layers until the cells in each layer looked normal.
Endoscopy: In this type of surgery, tissue samples are taken for review by a doctor or pathologist. Endoscopy is used to look at tissue in an organ such as the colon, bladder, or other parts of the body. It uses a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera at the end. The doctor inserts a tube into your body through the mouth, nose, or another opening. They can also take tissue samples using tiny instruments.