Advances in the field of medical and radiation oncology have offered potential cures
to most solid cancers. Despite these advances, surgery is still the mainstay
treatment for most cancers.
Surgical oncology is the branch of surgery applied to oncology. This focuses on the
surgical management of tumors, especially cancerous tumors. They focus on surgical
interventions to diagnose and stage cancer, relieve its symptoms, and prevent its
spreading or recurrence. It also focuses on surgeries to control pain, increase a
patient’s comfort level, and manage cancer-related symptoms (palliative surgeries).
Depending upon the purpose of the surgery, the following are some of the types of
surgery used in cancer treatment:
- Curative Surgery: When the cancerous tumor growth is more localized in the
body, this type is performed to remove it from that specific area.
- Preventive Surgery: Though the nearby tissue of the cancerous cells isn’t
affected, it will be removed to prevent the malignancy of the tumor-affected
- Diagnostic Surgery: To rule out or conclude, if the specific tissues are
cancerous or not, the tissue sample is removed for examination in the
pathological lab. This helps in the diagnosis and detection of cancer type or
- Staging Surgery: This type of surgery is performed to know to what extent
cancer has affected the body. Laparoscopy is one of the tools to perform Staging
- Debulking Surgery: This type of surgery removes a part of the tumor, so as not
to damage the affected organ.
Other types include palliative, supportive, and restorative surgeries.
Depending on the type of cancer, its location, and the size of the tumor, surgical
oncology offers the following services:
- Complex cancer surgeries involve surgical treatments and multidisciplinary care
of rare or uncommon cancers or complex presentations.
- Laparoscopic cancer surgeries for gastric and gynecological cancers.
- Sentinel node biopsies for staging and management of breast cancers.
- Reconstructive cancer surgeries to repair the changes that occur in your body
from cancer surgeries.
- Video-Assisted Thoracic Cancer Surgeries (VATS) is mainly for the effective
management of thoracic cancers.
- Sphincter preserving rectal cancer surgeries and organ preservation for the
management of various gastrointestinal cancers.
- Chemo port placement (Adult & Pediatric) for easy withdrawal of blood and the
administration of intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, or drugs such as
- Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) - An effective palliative
therapy for people with malignant ascites, or an accumulation of fluid in the
- Organ Conservative Surgeries- An effective surgical alternative for
advanced-stage cancers providing better oncological control and minimal
Breast Oncoplasty or Oncoplastic Breast Reconstruction - A new surgical approach
combining principles of cancer surgery and plastic surgery to remove cancer by
maintaining the shape and symmetry of the breast.