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. Surgery offers the best chance of stopping many types of cancer and is often used to diagnose, stage, and support other cancer treatments. Surgical procedures are commonly used for the diagnosis and treatment of cancers that affect the skin, breast, gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas, and colon.
Our team of surgical oncologists is specially trained to perform surgical procedures for the diagnosis or removal of cancerous tumors. A surgical oncologist may be one of the first doctors a person can see if the primary care doctor suspects the person has cancer. They usually perform biopsies and remove a small section of tissue so that they can test it for cancer cells. If there are cancer cells, the patient may need to see the doctor again.
At this point, the tumor and surrounding tissues may need to be removed. The surgeon will help the patient prepare for any surgical procedure that is recommended for cancer treatment. The doctor will also help the patient recover after surgery. A surgical oncologist specializes in the surgical diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancerous and noncancerous (benign) tumors.
Surgical oncologists care for patients of all ages with common or simple tumors and cancers. Surgical oncologists also have experience in diagnosing and treating rare, unusual, recurrent, and complex cancers and tumors. Surgical oncologists use minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopic surgery and robot-assisted surgery when appropriate. Before a biopsy or surgery, you meet with a surgical oncologist to discuss options and learn about procedures.
A surgical oncologist has immediate access to the latest technologies and information and works closely with highly specialized multidisciplinary cancer teams. A surgical oncologist is also known as an oncology surgeon, cancer surgeon, general surgeon, or complex general surgical oncologist. A medical oncologist is also the doctor the cancer patient will continue to see after treatment, for long-term check-ups. If there is cancer, you may see the surgical oncologist again to have a tumor or other tissue removed.
You may have follow-up visits with your surgical oncologist to review the biopsy results and check the healing of the incision. You should seek care from a surgical oncologist when you are referred to one by your primary care doctor or other doctor. Surgical oncologists perform surgery to remove or shrink tumors or to look inside the body for signs of cancer. Some surgical oncologists choose to specialize in their field with additional research on specific cancers, such as skin, gastrointestinal (related to the stomach or intestine), or gynecological cancers.
Medical oncologists help patients manage side effects and also monitor and maintain people's well-being. Surgical oncologists are doctors or osteopaths who have been trained in surgery with a focus on diagnosing and treating cancer. Like other types of doctors and surgeons, surgical oncologists complete medical school and pass an exam to practice medicine.