Cancer – Oncological Surgery

Cancer – Oncological Surgery

Surgery is the oldest known treatment for cancer.

The surgeons of the old period, whose pathology, anatomy and modern surgical techniques were not known, tried to remove the tumor with catheterization or knife, but these attempts did not achieve the desired success.

With the great advances in science and technology, the main treatment of early or locally advanced stage cancers is invasive / radical surgical methods. In addition, in some of the 4th stage (metastatic, advanced) cancers, surgery is frequently applied to reduce the tumor burden or to relieve the sudden symptoms (such as pain, intestinal obstruction, nerve pressure) due to the tumor. Cancer surgeries are often performed by oncological surgeons with advanced expertise in the surgery of the respective cancer.

Note: The main treatment for early stage solid (organ) cancers is surgery!

In the treatment of cancer, invasive surgery is the classical method, and in this method, the skin is cut to reach the cancerous tissue. However, the role of minimally invasive treatment methods, some of which are performed by interventional radiologists, in cancer treatment is increasing. In minimally invasive procedures, small holes that cause less harm to the patient are opened instead of large incisions.

Examples of minimally invasive oncologic surgery include:

  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Robotic surgery
  • Natural orifice surgery (through the oral cavity, rectum and vagina),
  • Single hole laparoscopy (SILS). The following minimally invasive methods are applied by interventional radiologists.

What are The Types of Cancer Surgery?

Whether a cancer patient is eligible for surgery depends on:

  • The type of cancer patient has
  • Position (anatomical region) and stage of the cancer
  • General health status of the patient

Surgery is not the first choice for every cancer. Surgery is a local and/or regional treatment. Surgery may not be the best treatment for you if your cancer has spread or if the tumor is small but you have a systemic type of cancer (such as breast cancer). Or, in hematological cancers (such as leukemia, lymphoma), systemic treatments (such as chemotherapy) are at the forefront. In this case, it may be better for you to take a treatment that works for your whole body, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, or hormone therapy. Radiotherapy can also be used to shrink tumors and control symptoms/complaints.

Does Choosing Centers Experienced in Cancer Surgeries Make a Difference?

Many scientific studies have also shown that cancer treatments applied in centers with a large patient number are more successful. In fact, analyzes have shown that the mean survival time of patients treated in these centers is significantly higher.

The patient should choose the surgeon with whom he feels most comfortable and who is known to have experience in this field. It is important to set out with the oncology team, who approach you positively, reassure you, answer your questions clearly and unequivocally, that is, prepare you spiritually for the surgery in the best way possible.

Oncoplastic Surgery

Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy or partial mastectomy) is often used for early-stage breast cancers. However, when the tumor is large or the breast is small, breast-conserving surgery may not be possible and removal of the entire breast (mastectomy) may be required. Today, breast reconstruction after breast-conserving surgeries or complete reconstruction after mastectomy is increasingly practiced by experienced breast cancer centers. In this sense, plastic surgeons have become a routine member of the breast cancer treatment team.