Surgical oncology is a branch of medicine specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
It has several applications in the setting of cancer.
1. To confirm a cancer diagnosis, where the doctor may remove all or part of a tumour in a procedure called a biopsy.
2. Surgical excision to completely excise an early stage cancer that has not spread. This may be the only treatment required on occasion.
3. Sometimes surgery is used to debulk a tumour if it is not possible to remove the tumour without damaging other nearby healthy organs. This involves removing as much of the tumour as possible to make other cancer treatments more effective.
This field of surgery involves the removal of tumour masses on occasion and also on occasion requires the sampling or removal of lymph nodes.
Lymph node removal might be required in the neck or the axilla or the groin and less frequently, in the abdominal cavity.
All of these problems are very individualised and will be discussed with the doctor at the time of initial consultation.