Cancer surgery

Surgery plays a prominent role in the treatment of most solid cancers, as opposed to blood cell cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma.

It must pursue two objectives: on the one hand remove the entire tumor and on the other hand try, whenever possible, to preserve organs or anatomical structures not affected in order to best preserve quality of life. Therefore, it is essential that the procedure is comprehensive yet not excessive, which would be mutilating and would not have any additional beneficial effect on the evolution of the disease. This dual objective is a major challenge today. The advanced surgical techniques used in the reference centers require the cooperation of surgeons specialized in cancer and cancer surgery, called oncological surgery, as well as surgeons specialized in the reconstruction of organs or parts of organs and tissues removed.

Cancer surgery is therefore a real specialty on its own. It requires expertise and maintenance of acquired skills, an objective that can only be achieved by regularly performing often delicate procedures. The experience acquired has an influence on the therapeutic results, which are often better when the surgical activity is high.

A multidisciplinary approach is necessary before and after the surgical procedure.

The indication and the implementation of a surgical treatment of cancer depend on the characteristics of the tumor, its aggressiveness, its extension not only locally but also regionally via the network of lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels, etc. It will be performed either alone or in combination with other treatment modalities.

It is therefore mandatory that the different specialists involved in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease share their knowledge and observations before any surgical intervention. This multidisciplinary approach makes it possible to define the most appropriate strategy for each patient. Specialists determine the role of the various therapeutic tools such as surgery, radiotherapy, and drugs (chemotherapy, new molecules, etc.), and specify the way in which these tools should be combined.

These meetings are also necessary to carry out the necessary quality control of the surgical treatment: after the operation, it is crucial to determine the quality of the resection, if there are no microscopic traces of cancer cells, and the extent of invasion of the lymph nodes. This evaluation is based essentially on microscopic analysis by the specialist in pathological anatomy. It defines the course of action to be taken after surgery and the need for further treatment or not.

The surgical treatment of cancer is the result of a multidisciplinary approach that includes all specialists involved in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

For each anatomical region, the surgery has certain specificities. To learn more, choose a type of tumor from the list below.