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Cancer Institute

Surgical Oncology

At the Cancer Institute, our patients have access to nationally recognized physicians in surgical oncology with broad, varied experience in the surgical management of malignancies.

Surgical oncologists have specialized training and expertise for a comprehensive approach to the management of solid tumor malignancies. Teams may meet prior to, during, and after surgical intervention in order to design customized regimens. Such approaches are important in order to optimize curative treatment, organ conservation, and preservation of function.

Surgical oncology is often used in the treatment of:

  • head and neck cancer
  • lung cancer
  • esophageal and gastric cancer
  • pancreatic, biliary and liver cancer
  • colorectal cancer
  • breast cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • melanomas
  • soft tissue sarcomas

The Cancer Institute also offers bloodless surgery to patients with gynecologic, colorectal, lung, prostate and hematologic cancers, if appropriate. Bloodless surgery also is known as non-blood medical management or transfusion-free medicine and surgery. Because of increased awareness of the risks associated with blood transfusion and a major shortage of blood and blood products, researchers have developed surgical techniques that reduce or eliminate the need for transfusions. Specialized techniques and equipment used in bloodless surgery include:

  • Intraoperative blood salvage, or cell-saver systems, which collects and returns the patient's own blood lost during surgery.
  • Erythropoietin, a synthetic hormone that stimulates the body's ability to produce red blood cells. By treating anemia and increasing the red blood cell supply before surgery, the hemoglobin level is increased and remains higher during and after surgery.
  • Volume expanders, the use of intravenous fluids to dilute the blood, thereby decreasing its concentration of red blood cells and reducing the amount of red blood cells lost overall during surgery.
  • Argon beam coagulators, which clot blood vessels during surgery to reduce blood loss.

Learn more about Surgical Oncology in our Health Library.

Surgical Oncology Specialists

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