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Oncologic Surgery

Tumor Removal & Cancer Treatment from Experts Who Care

Surgical oncology is a medical field focused on the diagnosis, staging, and treatment to remove tumors. It is a vital part of cancer treatment. The physicians who perform these operations to remove tumors are called surgical oncologists. They also perform operations called palliative surgeries that can control pain, improve comfort levels, manage cancer-related symptoms, and treat side effects.

RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group takes aggressive steps against cancer so you can live more comfortably and potentially extend your life versus not having any treatment. We realize choosing a surgeon and a hospital you trust is just one step you must take on your journey to fight cancer. Our team I experienced at treating various cancer, including those considered advanced or untreatable. Although cancer is not definitively curable and every patient hopes to go in remission, even patients who seem beyond hope are treatable and can achieve greater comfort with the help of our team of surgical, medical, and radiation oncologists working side-by-side.

Surgery is the first step to getting healthier. Depending on your cancer subtype, a surgical oncologist may be the only surgeon needed, but if you have lung cancer, athoracic surgeon may be called upon, too. Some surgeons subspecialize in breast cancer, and others are experts in urologic surgery. There are many types of surgical oncologists, all with extensive training and knowledge in the fight against cancer.

Do I Need Surgical Oncology?

Being diagnosed with cancer is an unpleasant reality faced by millions in their lifetimes. Nobody expects it will happen to them, so it can come as quite a shock when it does. It may also come as a surprise to learn you need surgery, although not all patients are eligible for surgical oncology because of their tumor type, size, location, grade, and stage. Other patients do not qualify for surgical oncology because their overall health is poor because of advanced age, bad physical fitness, or other overlapping medical conditions that counterindicate the need for surgical oncology.

If you are a candidate for surgical oncology, your procedure will be scheduled as soon as possible. Although tumor removal is the first step in aggressively treating your cancer, most patients have surgery only as the first step in a series of treatments. That’s because cancer must be attacked through surgery, medication like chemotherapy (“chemo”), radiation therapy, and possibly hormone therapy. Nonsurgical treatments may also help, whether before or after surgery, to help prevent cancer growth, recurrence, or the spread of the cancer, which is called metastasis.

Who Does a Surgical Oncologist Work with to Treat My Cancer?

There are multiple subspecialties from doctors who treat cancer, and usually, they work as a team. Once cancer is suspected, a surgical oncologist will work with you to plan to remove the potentially malignant (cancerous) tumor so it cannot spread further. However, this is not a guarantee it has been 100% removed, which is why cancer is so difficult to eradicate. At RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group, our surgical oncologists work as a collaborative cancer care team.

For instance, these experts may work alongside the surgical oncologist:

  • Medical oncologists administer chemotherapy
  • Pathologists can grade and stage cancer during diagnosis
  • Radiation oncologists perform radiation therapy
  • Primary care physicians help coordinate treatment from specialists and monitor overall health
  • Oncology nurses provide the care patients need to stay as healthy as possible
  • Organ-specific oncologists subspecialize in various organs and organ systems that are affected by malignancies

Preparing for Cancer Surgery

Anyone would be intimidated by the thought of having surgery. Still, surgical oncology is one of the oldest and most frequently used forms of cancer therapy, not to mention the most successful type of cancer therapy available. No matter where cancer appears on or in your body, our cancer experts are highly trained and committed to providing you with world-class, state-of-the-art, low-impact cancer treatment.

In the time leading up to your surgery, your surgical oncologist will partner with you and the treatment team to choose biopsy options, which is the collection of possibly cancerous cells to be graded and staged by a pathologist. They will give their expert opinion on what type of cancer you have and suggest procedures to ease symptoms and improve your body’s function. Surgical oncologists also work with radiation and medical oncologists after your surgery is complete to achieve the best outcome. That’s because post-surgery is under the purview of a surgical oncologist, and we strive to benefit the health of all RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group patients affected with cancer.

Make an appointment with our surgical oncologists or ask for a referral first. Please visit our Physician Locatorto find a provider and either make an appointment online or call the office directly or visit healthconnect.rwjbh.org/hcwebto book an appointment online.