Surgical oncologists treat cancer through surgery, which includes removing the tumor and nearby tissue during an operation. This type of surgeon can also perform certain types of biopsies to help diagnose cancer. Because cancer can affect almost any structure, tissue, or organ system in the body, treatments vary. Surgical oncology is the branch of surgery applied to oncology; it focuses on the surgical treatment of tumors, especially cancerous tumors.
Surgical oncology is an area of expertise that focuses on the surgical treatment of several types of cancer. The Division of Surgical Oncology is committed to multidisciplinary care for the treatment of cancer. Our trained surgeons specialize in various types of cancer and work with medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and other members of the medical team to ensure the best treatments and care for our patients. Our surgeons lead the way in providing cutting-edge treatments and are recognized nationally for their innovative and coordinated patient care.
Our surgeons also use the world's most advanced robotic and minimally invasive surgery techniques to perform safe and precise procedures with small incisions, leading to faster recovery times, fewer scarring and shorter hospitalizations. After a biopsy, the surgical oncologist will send tissue samples to a pathologist to check for cancer cells. In open surgery, the surgical oncologist will make a large incision, usually to remove all or part of the tumor and some of the surrounding healthy tissue (margins). The surgical oncologist may also choose to perform staging surgery to determine the size of the tumor and if the cancer has spread.
Ideally, we would not only have a residency, but also one or two surgical oncology fellowships to provide a higher level education. Other procedures, such as endoscopies, embolization, Mohs micrographic surgery, and pleuroscopies, may be performed by people other than surgeons, such as dermatologists, radiation oncologists, and interventional pulmonologists, depending on the procedure. Surgical oncologists will work with other team members, including nutritionists, rehabilitation therapists, and naturopathic providers, to anticipate and manage side effects of surgery. Surgical oncology is the field of cancer care that focuses on surgery to diagnose, stage and treat cancer, and to manage some cancer-related symptoms.
Surgical oncologists in the UPMC Liver Tumor Program have extensive experience in many techniques to treat liver cancer. Medical oncology often uses chemotherapy drugs to attack cancer, while radiation oncology relies on several forms of radiation therapy. The surgical oncologist's office will tell you what you need to do to prepare and can answer any questions you have about the procedure. As surgical oncologists, whatever disease you care for, you must know extensively about the disease, natural history, chemotherapy, radiation.
As one of several modalities in the treatment of cancer, the specialty of surgical oncology has evolved in steps similar to medical oncology (pharmacotherapy for cancer), which emerged from hematology, and radiation oncology, which emerged from radiology. The johns hopkins Surgical Oncology program is an ACGME-approved two-year post-residency fellowship. Surgical oncologists are doctors or osteopaths who have been trained in surgery with a focus on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. .