Surgery

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        Surgery is the oldest form of cancer treatment, and for most patients, part of the curative plan includes surgery. The most important part of the consultation with the surgeon is a complete history and physical exam. Before surgical resection, diagnostic and staging studies should be performed. This helps the surgeon determine if the cancer is resectable (removable with surgery), and allows him or her to plan the surgical approach. Due to improved screening techniques, many patients have disease that is curable with surgery alone at diagnosis. In such cases, after surgery, the patient's follow-up care includes close observation and/or radiology and lab tests.

    The goals of the surgical oncologist are to remove the cancer and an area of healthy tissue surrounding it, also known as a clear margin or clear excision, in order to prevent the cancer from recurring in that area (which is called a local recurrence). Sometimes it is not possible to remove the whole tumor, and a surgery known as "debulking" may be done to remove as much of the tumor as possible and to relieve symptoms such as pain, airway obstruction, or bleeding. However, the contribution of the surgical oncologist goes beyond what is done on the day of surgery itself. As part of the multidisciplinary care team, he or she provides expert opinion about biopsy techniques, optimal image guidance, the likelihood of achieving clear margins (especially in borderline resectable cases), and what role there is, if any, for surgical management of more advanced disease.

      For those whose cancer is not treatable, palliative surgery may be an option to relieve pain that may be caused by the cancer. Palliative surgery is not intended to treat or cure the cancer, or even to prolong life, but more to lessen discomfort.

Risks of surgery:

    There are risks that go with any type of medical procedure and surgery is no exception. Success partly depends on the type of surgery you are having and the surgeon’s experience with it. The patient’s physical health affects the process and outcome a great deal too. What’s important is whether the expected benefits outweigh the possible risks.


Questions:

1. If patient is diagnosed means what will be first mode of treatment?

a) Chemotherapy

b) Surgery

c) Radiation therapy

d) All


Answers:

1. c) Surgery


References:

1. http://cancer.about.com

2. www.cancer.org

3. http://www.oncolink.org

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