Surgical Oncology is a discipline of medicine for treating cancer tumours through the means of surgery. Cancer treatment methods include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, hormone therapy, bone marrow transplant, immunotherapy, targeted drug therapy and more.
Traditionally, surgery has been the first line of treatment for cancer. It’s only in the last century that other treatment avenues like chemotherapy and radiotherapy came into being. Surgical oncology deals with the use of surgical techniques to treat all forms of cancers.
Cancer surgery may not be the only treatment available for cancer but is generally considered for most forms of cancers. An oncologist would have to consider surgery along with other treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Surgical oncology involves the following functions:
- Diagnosis of cancer and determining its stage by taking a biopsy or other methods.
- Surgically removing the tumor or a part of it.
- Surgically remove the tumor along with other affected body parts.
- Reconstruct parts that are affected due to the surgical treatment.