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Resources for Surgery

Surgery For Cancer Treatment

One type of surgery for cancer is curative. This procedure removes the cancerous tumor or growth from the body. Surgeons use curative surgery when the cancerous tumor is in one specific area of the body. This type of treatment is often considered the primary treatment, but other types of cancer treatments, such as radiation, may be used before or after the surgery.

Questions to Ask Before Surgery

It's important to communicate your feelings, questions, and concerns with your doctor before having surgery. Take notes, or ask a family member or friend to accompany you and take notes for you. You can also bring a tape recorder, so you can review information later.

Purpose of Having Surgery

Surgery may be recommended for a variety of reasons—among them, to help with a diagnosis, to take a biopsy of a suspicious lump, to remove diseased tissues or organs, or to remove an obstruction.

Preparing for Surgery

How should you prepare for surgery? That depends on the type of surgery and type of anesthesia that will be used.

Surgical Team

The surgical team is made up of a surgeon, an anesthesiologist, a certified registered nurse anesthetist, and an operating room nurse.

Tests Performed Before Surgery

Many surgeons order routine laboratory tests before admission to the hospital, or even before certain outpatient procedures, to identify potential problems that might complicate surgery if not detected and treated early.

Types of Anesthesia and Your Anesthesiologist

During surgery, you will be given some form of anesthesia—medication administered for the relief of pain and sensation during surgery. The type and dosage of anesthesia is determined by the anesthesiologist.

Checklist for Surgery/Consent Forms/Insurance Information

The decision to have surgery is an important one. Here is a checklist to help you prepare. You'll need to arrange a time for any preoperative lab tests and for an interview with the anesthesiologist. Check with your health plan regarding costs and coverage of the surgery.

Pain Management

It's normal to expect a certain amount of pain after surgery, but if the pain does not subside with pain medication, you may have a more serious problem. Your doctors and nurses will ask about your pain because they want you to be comfortable.

Specialized Types of Cancer Surgery

Your medical team may recommend one of several different types of surgery as part of your cancer treatment. These types include cryosurgery, laser surgery, microsurgery, and electrosurgery.
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