Surgical oncology deals with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer using a variety of surgical methods. Cancer surgery and tumor surgeries are used to remove benign or malignant tumors in many different parts of the body.
The thought of having a tumor removed can make anyone anxious. These are highly complex surgical procedures that should only be performed by a board-certified surgeon who specializes in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Reasons to Have Tumor Surgery
There are different types of tumor surgeries for different purposes. Let’s talk about each one of them.
Some cancer surgeries are performed to prevent the occurrence or development of cancer. For instance, if you have precancerous polyps in your colon, your doctor will likely recommend that they be surgically removed. Precancerous polyps can develop into colorectal cancer, which is life-threatening.
Some women who have been tested as having inherited the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene may opt to have a preventive double mastectomy surgery in order to virtually eliminate their chances of developing malignant breast cancer. This is normally done when women have had mothers, sisters, and grandmothers who have all died of breast cancer and the patient herself has indeed been tested positive for this gene.
Diagnosis and Staging
This type of tumor surgery usually involves the removal of only one part of the tumor in order to make a clinical diagnosis. After the surgical biopsy, the doctor studies the tumor specimen under a microscope and confirms whether it is malignant or benign.
Another purpose of partial tumor surgery is cancer staging. The biopsy specimen provides the doctor with information such as how advanced and aggressive your cancer is. Cancer is ranked from I to IV; some cancers have four “grades” and others have four “stages.” Here, your doctor will determine whether fully removing the tumor is likely to be effective or even possible.
For many cancers, particularly those that are localized and have not spread, surgery to remove the tumor is the best chance for a cure. If the cancer has spread to other tissues or organs, removal of the tumor may help with relieving the symptoms but it will not be curative.
If the complete removal of the tumor will do more harm than good, the doctor may remove just a part of the tumor in order to make other accompanying treatment methods effective. For example, this surgery can help make chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments more effective than if the tumor were left alone.
Sometimes, the aim of tumor surgery is to relieve your symptoms and help you live as normal a life as possible, despite a malignant diagnosis. Cancer pain can be severe and debilitating, and the removal of part of the tumor may help to relieve pain symptoms – especially when combined with other cancer treatments.
Brain and Spine Surgery in Colorado Springs
Our medical team here at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery can perform advanced tumor surgeries to address cranial conditions and tumors for purposes of diagnosis, treatment, and symptom relief. Our team of compassionate, board-certified neurosurgeons has expertise and extensive experience in treating benign and malignant tumors of the brain and spine.
To schedule a consultation, call our team at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery today at (303) 790-1800 or complete our appointment request form online now. We look forward to seeing you.