Surgery is often a first-line treatment used to cure or treat symptoms of the disease by removing all or part of the cancer. Oftentimes, surgery is the best chance to cure cancer. This is especially the case with early stage cancers that have not spread to other tissues or parts of the body.
If you are searching for personalized cancer treatment, you can trust the expertise of our oncology team at St. Joseph's Cancer Institute. We have surgeons, doctors, and nurse navigators committed to your care.
- BARRX procedure
- Mediastinoscopy and endobronchial ultrasound
- Nissen fundoplication
- SuperDimension™ navigation system
- Varian EDGE™ Radiosurgery Suite
- Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)
Why We Perform Surgery for Cancer
The goal of cancer surgery is to remove all cancer cells from your body. Your doctor may also recommend surgery even if only part of the cancer can be removed to improve the success of other treatments, such as radiation therapy, in attacking cancer cells.
Other reasons you might need cancer surgery are:
- Prevention: Some people choose to remove an organ or body tissues without a cancer diagnosis if they are at high risk for developing cancer in the future. This is called prophylactic cancer treatment or surgery. For instance, a woman at high risk for breast cancer may decide to have a prophylactic double mastectomy to significantly lower her risk of breast cancer.
- Diagnosis: In some cases, a doctor confirms a tumor as malignant or benign after surgically removing and testing it.
- Staging: Tests done on the tissue removed during surgery can reveal the size of a tumor or whether it has spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.
- Palliative care: Surgery may be used to reduce symptoms of advanced cancer, such as pain from a tumor pressing on a nerve.
What to Expect with Cancer Surgery at Dignity Health
Your cancer surgery will be done in a Dignity Health hospital with general anesthesia. The type and size of the cancer will determine how invasive the procedure will be. Minimally invasive surgery may be an option for a small tumor or growth of cancer cells, but large or several tumors will require a more traditional open procedure with a larger incision. Regardless of the surgical approach, your surgeon, oncologist, and nurse navigators at Dignity Health will help you through the entire process.
Recovery After Your Surgery
Your recovery after cancer surgery will depend on how invasive the surgery is and whether you need other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation. You may be able to recover at home immediately, or you may need to spend several days in the hospital to heal.
Your care team will give you specific instructions for follow-up appointments and information about long-term screening to monitor for cancer recurrence.
St. Joseph's Cancer Institute provides state-of-the-art surgery for cancer treatment in the Stockton region.