The stakes are particularly high in cancer surgery. Having the appropriate treatment done soon away implies that your cancer is less likely to reoccur. It also lowers your chances of developing severe problems that may affect your health and basic physiological functioning.
Even if other surgeons are equally capable of performing an operation, some surgeons have the depth of knowledge to perform it at the right time, in the right way, and in combination with the right additional therapies, thanks to close collaboration with our pathologists, medical oncologists, and many other cancer experts. They are dedicated to assisting you in understanding all of your choices, including when it is possible to postpone surgery and instead carefully monitor your cancer using a technique known as active surveillance.
Active surveillance, also known as watchful waiting, has been made feasible by breakthroughs in cancer research that enable physicians to determine when a disease will grow slowly and will not pose a danger to your health. This strategy may enable you to postpone treatment — and therefore avoid its possible dangers and side effects — until symptoms emerge or the severity of your illness changes. It’s a tried-and-true technique that our surgeons pioneered here with prostate cancer and that we’re increasingly utilizing for thyroid, kidney, and other malignancies.
Our surgeons work hard to discover methods to assist patients completely regain normal function following treatment, in addition to saving lives by treating malignancies. For example, our gynecologic surgeons assisted in the development of a novel surgical technique that maintains fertility in patients with early-stage cervical cancer. We currently have one of the most active programs in the United States utilizing this method, enabling many women who would have lost this capacity in the past to have children.
Our aim with surgery is to remove as much cancer as possible – ideally, all of it. We have extensive expertise in eliminating ordinary tumours as well as extremely complex growths in difficult-to-reach or sensitive areas of the body. Our experienced surgeons collaborate with our other highly trained professionals, such as anesthesiologists and nurses, who may make a significant difference in how well you perform during and after surgery.
If you are a candidate for surgery, we will advise you on the method that will offer you not just the greatest chance of survival, but also the best quality of life. Among the many variables we examine are the following:
the type of cancer (for example, solid tumours can often be surgically removed, while blood cancers cannot)
where the cancer is in your body and how we can best access it to eradicate it
cancer’s breadth and if it has migrated (metastasized) to adjacent tissue
how fast the disease grows other health issues that may influence how well you tolerate and recover from surgery
Minimally Invasive Surgery
We may suggest a minimal-access procedure (also known as a minimally invasive operation) for certain patients, the most frequent kinds of which being robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery. During a minimal-access surgery, your surgeon conducts the same operation that he or she would have done using the conventional, open method, but using specific tools and scopes that need many tiny incisions rather than one larger one.
Our surgeons are extremely experienced in these methods and understand when such an approach may be appropriate for you. The main thing in our thoughts is always whatever method is ideal for treating your cancer and allowing you to live a normal life thereafter. Although a minimally invasive technique may be beneficial for many individuals, it is not appropriate for everyone.
In certain instances, in addition to surgery, your doctor may prescribe radiation, chemotherapy, or other therapies. These treatments may help shrink cancer before surgery to make it simpler to remove, or they can help eliminate any stray cancer cells following surgery. During your surgery, you may be offered chemo or radiation treatment.
For certain patients with colorectal cancer and some gynecologic malignancies, our surgeons are testing a novel method called hyperthermic (heated) intraperitoneal chemotherapy or HIPEC. To treat any residual cancer cells, HIPEC delivers high doses of heated chemotherapy straight into the lining of the abdominal cavity soon after the tumour has been removed. HIPEC provides a significantly greater dose of chemotherapy, which may be more efficient in killing cancer cells while reducing the toxicity and side effects associated with traditional chemotherapy.
Intraoperative radiation treatment is administering high doses of radiation during surgery to remove a tumour. One method uses a device known as a linear accelerator to deliver a concentrated beam of radiation to areas where cancer cells may still be present. Tiny radioactive seeds are placed in or near the tumour in another method known as brachytherapy.