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The Treatments (Part Two): Surgical Therapy

Hello everyone and welcome back to RadTec Medical Devices. For those of you just tuning in, this is the second (of three) part coverage of available options for cancer therapy. Today, we will be discussing the surgical treatment option for cancer. If you missed part one, follow this link:

Surgical therapy uses operating procedures in order to remove tumors and any damaged tissue around the area. While being the oldest treatment, surgery is one of the most effective remedies to date. At first glance, one might assume the only use for cancer surgery is to locate the infected area and remove it. While that assumption isn’t wrong, there are many alternative reasons for surgical treatment. The term “cancer surgery” has vast utility. Your oncologist (a medical practitioner qualified to diagnose and treat tumors), might want to issue surgery to gather information, conduct treatment, and help recover.

Cancer surgery can be administered to locate info about tumors. Diagnostic surgery allows practitioners to perform a biopsy of a suspicious area. A biopsy where they remove a small sample is called an incisional biopsy, while a removal of the entire sample area is called excisional biopsy. Staging surgery, another method for gaining data, is used to determine the size and continues growth of the tumor.

When it comes to the actual elimination of the tumor, there are a couple different tactics for patient care. Primary surgery is the core procedure for removing tumors. An oncologist will create the main incision and remove the tumor and the surrounding area in order to reduce chance of spreading. Debulking is used when removing the entire tumor cannot be done or will cause too many side effects. Instead, they will remove a portion, leaving the rest to be removed on a later date or treated by an alternative treatment, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Palliative surgery helps reduce the side effect that are being caused by a growing tumor. Some examples include blockage in the intestines or applied pressure on a nerve.

The recovery portion for a tumor removal can also have great benefits from cancer surgery. Reconstruction surgery can be done during or after the initial removal.  This surgery is done in order to repair the function or appearance of certain parts of the body. Head and neck patient’s benefits immensely from reconstruction surgery. Some functions such as eating and breathing might be difficult and can be helped with reconstruction surgery.

Cancer surgery tends to be the first approach for removing tumors and for good reason. It’s the fastest way to remove cancer; leaving chemo or radiation therapy to clean up the rest.  However, always remember that every patient is different and it’s best to ask your doctor before deciding your treatment path. Stay tuned for the third and final cancer treatment coverage where we will be learning about chemotherapy. Thank you for reading and we will see you next time!


“What Is Cancer Surgery?” Cancer.Net, 25 Aug. 2016,                                          

“Surgery for Ovarian Cancer.” American Cancer Society,                 

“Reconstructive Surgery: Head and Neck Cancer Treatment.” Head & Neck Cancer Guide,


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