A cancer diagnosis can be a lot to swallow. Cancer patients are very vulnerable in the coming days after finding out about their diagnosis. Many resort to finding out a lot more about their diagnosis online, in an attempt to make sense of it all. Their doctor may recommend that the malignant tumor be removed as part of treatment, which also includes radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Most cancer patients will have to make a difficult decision about their treatment quickly, and common misconceptions about cancer do nothing but create more confusion in patients and mislead them in their decision making. If you’re still awaiting biopsy results, here are a few of the most common misconceptions related to tumor removal surgery and the truth about them.
Surgery is Not Necessary for Solid Tumors.
Tumors are either solid or liquid. Solid tumors are sarcomas, carcinomas, and lymphomas. Surgery is the primary treatment for most tumors. Whenever possible, doctors will recommend that solid tumors be removed.
While there are drugs that help shrink solid tumors, treatment usually involves tumor removal surgery, provided that the tumor has not spread to other parts of the body and is localized. Radiation therapy follows if there are still bits of the tumor leftover that cannot be removed with surgery but can be target-treated. Chemotherapy drugs, on the other hand, are designed to target cancer cells throughout the body.
Therefore, surgery is recommended not depending on whether the tumor is solid or liquid, but whether the tumor can be safely removed with little or no harm to healthy tissues.
Surgery Will Cause Cancer To Spread.
No evidence exists linking surgery to the spread of cancer. It is very dangerous to delay life-saving surgery due to fears that the procedure may cause cancer to spread. As a primary form of treatment, tumor removal surgery is very important and could help prevent tumor metastasis. Once cancer has spread to other parts of the body, a patient’s prognosis will not be as good as a patient with a localized malignant tumor.
Another persistent myth is that cancer will spread due to exposure to air during surgery. This myth may have something to do with some patients feeling worse while recovering from tumor removal surgery or the doctor finding more tumors to remove during surgery than was previously discovered in imaging tests.
Surgery Can Remove All Cancer Cells.
Tumor removal surgery is a primary treatment for cancers that have not spread. During surgery, the doctor aims to remove as many cancer cells as possible without harming healthy tissues. Even when a physical tumor is removed, some lingering cancer cells can remain. Because cells are impossible to see with the naked eye, it is impossible to remove all cancer cells through surgery. Fortunately, with fewer cancer cells, other therapies — radiation and chemo — will have a greater chance of being effective.
Tumor Surgery in Lone Tree, CO
Our neurosurgeons at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery have extensive training and experience performing tumor removal surgery on patients with brain tumors. To find out your treatment options, call (303) 790-1800 to consult with one of our board-certified neurosurgeons or use our appointment request form.