Cancer surgery is an operation performed to diagnose or to cure cancer, to remove cancerous tissue or to gain progress against the disease or its serious symptoms. This surgery may be your only treatment, or it may be combined with other treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or biological therapy. There are more than a hundred types of cancer identified in the world, and each can be treated differently for its different stages.
Types of cancer surgery
Preventive Surgery: This type of surgery is applied when there is enough possibility that cancer will spread to other tissues or organs. In this option, your doctor will try to remove tissues or organs surgically before the cancer spreads.
Diagnostic Surgery: In this type of surgery your doctor removes tissues or tumors for examination under a microscope to tell if the abnormal growth is cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign).
Staging Surgery: This procedure helps your doctor understand how serious your cancer is, in other words, its stage. It allows your surgeon to assess the size of the tumor and determine whether the cancer has spread to other tissues.
Curative Surgery: This type of surgery is applied when the disease is local. If there is enough evidence that your cancer is local, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the cancerous tumor as primary treatment.
Debulking Surgery: This method implies the removal of all possible tumor tissues when it is not possible to completely remove it. This option makes sure that chemotherapy, radiation therapy or other medical intervention becomes more effective.
Other Methods Used in Cancer Surgery
Cryosurgery: In this type of surgery, your doctor uses a very cold substance, such as liquid nitrogen or cold probe, to freeze and destroy cancer cells or cells that may become cancerous. This method is especially preferred in cases of skin and cervical cancer.
Electrosurgery: In this procedure, your doctor aims to kill cancerous cells by applying a high frequency electrical current.
Laser Surgery: This method uses high-intensity laser beams to shrink or vaporize cancerous cells and can be used to treat many types of cancer. In some cases, the heat of the laser directly makes the desired effect, and in some cases the laser just activates the previously applied chemicals that cancer cells absorbed.
Mohs surgery: Developed by surgeon Frederic Mohs, this method is very useful to remove cancerous tissues from sensitive areas such as the corner of the eye, and to determine how deep the cancer has progressed. In this surgical method, the cancerous tissue is removed by layers with a scalpel. After a layer is removed, your doctor will examine it under a microscope and this process repeats until all the abnormal cells are removed.
Laparoscopic Surgery: The surgeon uses a laparoscope to see inside your body through small incisions. The images captured by the camera of the laparoscopic tool are examined in real time. Smaller cuts mean that your healing will be faster and there are fewer risks of complications. Laparoscopic surgery is generally used in cancer diagnosis, staging, treatment and symptom relief.
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