Surgical oncologists are medical professionals who specialize in treating cancer through surgery. This type of surgeon can remove tumors and nearby tissue during an operation, as well as perform biopsies to diagnose cancer. Surgery is often used to diagnose, stage, and support other cancer treatments, and is commonly used for cancers that affect the skin, breast, gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas, and colon. Our team of surgical oncologists is specially trained to diagnose and treat cancerous and noncancerous (benign) tumors.
If a primary care doctor suspects a person has cancer, they may be referred to a surgical oncologist for biopsies and removal of a small section of tissue for testing. If cancer cells are present, the patient may need to have the tumor and surrounding tissues removed. The surgeon will help the patient prepare for any surgical procedure that is recommended for cancer treatment, as well as help them recover after surgery. Surgical oncologists use minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopic surgery and robot-assisted surgery when appropriate.
Before any biopsy or surgery, patients 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. After treatment, patients may need to see a medical oncologist for long-term check-ups.
Follow-up visits with a surgical oncologist may be necessary to review 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. Some surgical oncologists specialize in 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, they complete medical school and pass an exam to practice medicine.