The majority of patients diagnosed with cancer will undergo surgery or have a surgical procedure in combination with other therapies, such as radiation or chemotherapy. Surgery is sometimes performed prior to these other therapies to remove the bulk of the cancer. In other cases, radiation or chemotherapy is offered first to shrink a tumor and make it easier to surgically remove later.
The surgical oncologists at St. Anthony’s have long-standing expertise in surgically removing cancer and in treating both primary tumors and those that have spread to other parts of the body, known as metastatic cancer.
Surgery can be performed for many reasons:
Prevent cancer: precancerous polyps may be removed to reduce or eliminate the risk of cancer developing.
Diagnose Cancer: tissue samples from a suspicious mass may be removed (called a biopsy) and evaluated for the presence of cancer. Tissue samples also can help pathologists stage the cancer.
Cure Cancer: If surgeons can remove an entire tumor and the cancer has not spread, it may be that no other cancer treatments are necessary.
Shrink Tumors: Surgeons can remove portions of a tumor and surrounding tissue first to get rid of as much of the cancer as possible before chemotherapy or radiation therapy is performed to treat remaining cancer cells.
Reconstruction: Surgeons can help restore form and function after a surgical procedure to remove cancerous tumors, such as after breast mastectomies and head and neck cancer surgery.
St. Anthony’s Cancer Care Center has multiple options for surgical procedures to remove cancer, including traditional open and minimally invasive (laparoscopic) procedures. Cancer specialists here also offer highly advanced procedures
Cryosurgery — an advanced procedure that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and kill cancer cells in targeted areas.
da Vinci® Robotic Surgery — Highly trained specialists at St. Anthony’ s utilize the da Vinci® Robotic Surgery system, a robotically assisted minimally invasive technology for the treatment of some cancers. The system offers high resolution images so that the surgeon can better see, and more precisely remove cancerous tissue. This technology has been shown to result in less pain and blood loss as well as shorter recovery times and better clinical outcomes for some types of cancer surgery, such as prostate cancer. The system also is used in a wide range of other minimally invasive urologic, abdominal and gynecological procedures, such as hysterectomies, nephrectomies.