Surgery for Cancer

A female doctor talks with a senior female patient.Surgery is one of the primary treatments for cancer and can be performed in conjunction with other treatments like chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or biologic therapy (immunotherapy). Surgery can have different goals, including:

  • Cancer prevention – also called prophylactic surgery, preventive surgery may be performed if someone exhibits pre-cancers or is at an extremely high risk for developing cancer; for instance, women with a family history of breast cancer may opt to have both breasts removed (double mastectomy) before cancer can develop.
  • Cancer diagnosis – diagnostic cancer surgery is done to test a piece of tissue for cancer; examples of diagnostic procedures include biopsies, endoscopies, laparoscopies and open laparotomies.
  • Cancer staging – while blood tests and a physical exam can give an indication of what stage the cancer is at, surgery is usually necessary to determine exactly how far the cancer has spread; this is called surgical staging or pathological staging.
  • Primary treatment – also referred to as curative surgery, this type of primary treatment is performed to remove cancer that is found in only one region of the body; chemotherapy or radiation may follow surgery to kill any residual cancer cells.
  • Debulking – also called cytoreductive surgery, this type of procedure is aimed at removing some of a tumor when removal of the entire tumor would put nearby organs and tissues in too much danger of being damaged; the leftover tumor is usually treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
  • Relieving symptoms or side effects – also called palliative surgery, this procedure is performed when cancer has become advanced and a tumor is causing extreme pain or disability for the patient; palliative surgery is aimed at improving quality of life, not curing the cancer.
  • Restoration – restorative surgery may be performed after a primary surgical treatment or at the same time as the primary surgery; it aims to improve the appearance of a person who has undergone surgery. Breast reconstruction after a lumpectomy or mastectomy is the most common type of restorative cancer surgery.

Types of Surgery

  • Anal cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colon and rectum cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Hematologic cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Vulvar cancer

Learn More About Surgical Oncology Services at BayCare

BayCare offers the latest advancements in medical technology when it comes to surgically treating your cancer. We offer a wide range of state-of-the-art procedures, including robotic-assisted surgery and minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. To learn more, call (855) 314-8346 or find a doctor near you. We proudly serve individuals in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Dunedin, Winter Haven, Riverview, New Port Richey and throughout the Tampa Bay area.