Surgical Oncology

What is Surgical Oncology?

Surgical Oncology is specialty that deals with the surgical treatment of a variety of tumors. There are a number of surgical techniques used to diagnose and manage cancer. Together, these treatments are known as surgical oncology.

Who is a Surgical Oncologist?

Surgical Oncologists are surgeons who specialize in treatment of specific types of cancer through surgical methods. They look for a relationship between the tumor excision and the risks presented by the primary tumor. Additionally, they are knowledgeable about cancer progression and therefore have the ability to care for patients in a more conservative way than other oncologists.

Surgeries under Surgical Oncology

Under the branch of Surgical Oncology, a surgeon performs the following types of surgeries: –

  • Diagnostic surgery: This type of surgery is conducted to test whether a mass is cancerous or not. A small portion of the mass is extracted and tested to confirm the presence of cancer cells. This may be done by means of biopsy or FNAC.
  • Supportive surgery: In certain cases, a surgery is needed before administering another cancer treatment. Such kind of surgery is known as supportive surgery.
  • Staging surgery: This procedure helps in determining the stage of cancer, where it has spread and which body parts are affected.
  • Curative surgery: This type of surgery is conducted to partially or completely remove cancer tumor(s).
  • Palliative surgery: If a patient has an advanced cancer, in such cases a palliative surgery is done to ease pain and improve the quality of life.
  • Restorative surgery: This is usually performed after a cancer treatment to return the body to its normal appearance.
  • Preventive surgery: A proactive surgery, in this a surgical oncologist removes suspicious or precancerous tissues before they can become malignant. It is also used in patients that are at a high risk for developing cancer.


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