Cancer patients may need Cancer surgery at some time. Surgery may totally cure the condition. Your doctor may also use it to treat pain or other issues associated with it. You may need many types of operations.

Keep in mind that cancer surgery only addresses the cancerous section of your body. This implies it cannot be used to treat blood malignancies such as leukemia or other cancers that have spread.

Cancer surgery may be the sole option in certain cases. However, you may undergo additional cancer therapies as well.1

What is Cancer Surgery?

Cancer surgery is a surgical treatment that removes a tumor and maybe some surrounding tissue. It is the earliest method of cancer therapy, and it is still effective in treating many types of cancer today. A surgical oncologist is a doctor who specializes in cancer surgery.

You may need surgery to remove a tumor, restore your body’s function, or alleviate adverse effects. You may also need surgery to find out:

  • If you have cancer
  • Where the cancer is located
  • If it has spread or is affecting other organs in the body

Surgery can be performed at a doctor’s office, clinic, surgical center, or hospital. Where you travel is determined by the kind of Cancer surgery and the amount of time you need to recover. Anesthesia is a pain-blocking medicine that may be required for your procedure. Depending on the nature and scope of the operation, numerous methods of anesthesia are available.

1 D, D., & GW, H. (n.d.). Cancer management. IARC WHO. Retrieved December 14, 2022, from

Inpatient surgery is used when you need to remain in the hospital overnight or for many days after surgery. Outpatient surgery or ambulatory surgery is used when you can go home the same day.2

Different Types of Cancer Surgery

Cancer patients benefit from a variety of surgical procedures. Some procedures are combined with other forms of therapy. Surgical procedures include:

1. Curative surgery
Curative surgery is the removal of a malignant tumor or growth from the body. Curative surgery is used by surgeons when a malignant tumor is limited to a particular location of the body. This form of therapy is often regarded as the main treatment. Other cancer therapies, such as radiation, may be utilized either before or after the operation.

2. Preventive surgery
Preventive surgery is the removal of tissue that does not contain cancerous cells but has the potential to grow into a malignant tumor. Polyps in the colon, for example, may be considered precancerous tissue and removed by prophylactic surgery.

3. Diagnostic surgery
Diagnostic surgery aids in determining whether or not cells are malignant. Diagnostic surgery is performed to obtain a sample of tissue for testing and assessment (in a laboratory by a pathologist). Tissue samples aid in the confirmation of a diagnosis, identification of the kind of cancer, and determination of the stage of cancer.

4. Staging surgery
Staging surgery is used to determine the degree of cancer or illness in the body. A surgical staging method is a laparoscopy (a viewing tube with a lens or camera introduced via a tiny incision to study the interior of the body and take tissue samples).

2 Mayo Clinic. Cancer surgery: Physically removing cancer. (2022, August 25). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from

5. Debulking surgery
Debulking surgery eliminates a piece of a malignant tumor but not the whole tumor. It is utilized in cases when removing the whole tumor might cause harm to an organ or the body. Following debulking surgery, further cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation, may be employed.

6. Palliative surgery
Palliative surgery is used to treat advanced cancer. It does not function to cure cancer but rather to reduce pain or repair other issues caused by cancer or cancer therapy.

7. Supportive surgery
Because it does not cure cancer, supportive surgery is akin to palliative surgery. Instead, it aids the effectiveness of other cancer therapies. A catheter insertion to assist with chemotherapy is an example of supportive surgery.

8. Restorative surgery
Restorative surgery is occasionally done as a follow-up procedure following curative or other procedures in order to improve or restore a person’s look or the function of a bodily component. Women suffering from breast cancer, for example, may need breast reconstruction surgery to restore the physical contour of the afflicted breast. Curative surgery for oral cancer may alter a person’s mouth’s shape and appearance. To remedy these consequences, restorative surgery may be undertaken.3

Different Surgical Techniques for Cancer

Cancer surgery is often a big procedure. That is why experts continue to look for strategies to lessen the overall impact of surgery on the body.

One major cut (incision) is often required in open surgery. It may take some time to recover after open surgery. Before having your procedure, discuss the estimated recuperation time with your healthcare team. This discussion should include whether you will need assistance at home, sometimes known as caring, throughout your recuperation.

3 Stanford Health Care. Types of Surgery for Cancer Treatment. (2022). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from

Your surgeon may be able to employ a less intrusive surgical method for your procedure in certain cases. In comparison to traditional surgery, minimally invasive surgery employs smaller incisions. A camera, tiny instruments, and other equipment are also used in this method.

The advantage of minimally invasive surgery is that it allows for a speedier recovery with less discomfort. Caregiving at home may still be required. The following are some of the most frequent kinds of minimally invasive surgical procedures.

1. Cryosurgery
To eliminate cancer cells, this surgical approach employs very low temperatures. Cryosurgery is most often used to treat skin cancer and cervical cancer. Depending on whether the tumor is within or outside the body, liquid nitrogen is applied to the skin or put in a cryoprobe apparatus (which is inserted into the body so that it touches the tumor). Cryosurgery is being studied as a surgical therapeutic option for a variety of malignancies.

2. Laser surgery
This approach uses light energy beams rather than equipment to remove extremely tiny malignancies (without causing damage to surrounding tissue), shrink or eliminate tumors, or activate medications to kill cancer cells. Laser surgery is a very precise treatment that may be utilized to treat difficult-to-reach parts of the body, such as the skin, cervix, rectum, and larynx.

3. Electrosurgery
Electrosurgery is occasionally used to treat skin cancer and mouth cancer. This method kills cancer cells by using an electrical current.

4. Microscopically controlled surgery
This operation is effective when cancer affects sensitive bodily areas, such as the eye. Layers of skin are removed and inspected under a microscope until malignant cells cannot be found.3

Wrapping It Up

Cancer surgery is a common treatment for cancer, and it can be very effective in treating the disease. However, like all surgeries, there are risks involved, including the risk of infection and the risk of the cancer spreading. These risks are relatively low, however, and the benefits of Cancer surgery often outweigh the risks.


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