What happens in oncology surgery?

Health Care (6)

Oncology surgery or cancer surgery is a fundamental method to treat cancer. It involves an operation to remove or repair parts of the body to treat or diagnose cancer.

Cancer surgery may be carried out for a number of goals from relieving symptoms to diagnosing and treating cancer. Surgery may sometimes be the only method or may be used in combination with other methods like radiation and chemotherapy. Consult oncology specialists in India to decide on the mode of treatment.


Oncological surgery has many aims. Some of the common reasons include:

  • Preventing cancer: If there is a reason to judge that that certain tissue organs have a high risk of developing cancer, the oncologist may suggest removal of these organs or tissues. For example, if one has a genetic condition called adenomatous polyposis, cancer surgery may be recommended to remove colon or rectum since chances of developing colon cancer is high.
  • Diagnosing cancer: Surgery may be used to remove part or all of tumor so that tumor can be studied under a microscope to judge whether the tumor is cancerous or benign.
  • Staging: Surgery can be used to determine how advanced the cancer is- the stage of cancer. The size of the tumor can be ascertained and it can be determined whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. The staging of cancer may need additional tests.
  • Primary treatment: If cancer is localized and has not spread, oncological surgery is the best option to cure cancer. If the doctor finds evidence of cancer not having spread, surgery may be recommended as the primary mode of treatment.
  • Debulking: When it is impossible to remove part or all of cancerous tumor (if this may cause severe damage to an organ), the oncological surgeon will remove as much as is safely possible (called as debulking) for making other treatments like chemotherapy and radiation to be effective.
  • Relieving of side-effects and symptoms: Surgery may be used to improve the quality of life rather than remove cancer. For example, a tumor pressing on a nerve and causing pain may be removed.

Surgery is often used with other types of treatment like radiation or chemotherapy to cure or control cancer. Your choice of treatment depends on type and stage of cancer.


Some common methods of cancer surgery include:

  • Cryosurgery: Cold methods like a spray of liquid nitrogen may be used to freeze and kill cancer cells.
  • Electrosurgery: This involves the application of electric current of high frequency to kill cancer cells like that in the skin or mouth.
  • Laser surgery: Beams of light of high intensity are used to treat cancer by vaporizing and shrinking cancer cells.
  • Mohs surgery: Cancer cells are carefully removed layer by layer using a scalpel especially in very delicate parts of the body like the eye. This is continued till all abnormal cells are removed.
  • Laparoscopic surgery: Small incisions are made and tiny surgical tools and cameras are inserted into the body to remove cancer. This method has fewer risks of complications and faster recovery.
  • Robotics surgery: Surgery is carried out by hand control of robotic surgical tools. This helps the surgeon perform surgery in hard to reach areas.
  • Natural orifice surgery: Surgery is carried out by inserting surgical tools through natural orifices like mouth or rectum.

These are some aspects about oncological surgery. If you want the best, do some research like the online search for the best oncology surgeon in India. This way you can be sure you are in safe hands.