Surgery for cancer

In many cancers, such as breast or skin cancer  , the chances for a cure are good if the tumor can be removed by surgery. If this succeeds, because the disease is still at an early stage, the treatment may even be finished after the operation, with no further action would be required (curative surgery). Doctors refer to cure cancer, if no relapse occurs in the first five years after treatment.

How high is the risk of relapse, however, depends not only on the stage at which the disease is detected. So certain tumors tend more likely to return than others. Risk of a relapse in a patient is therefore estimated using various microscopic examinations of tumor tissue samples of the individual. Depending on chances of relapse of tumor, radiotherapy or chemotherapy is carried out to destroy the remaining tumor cells from the body.

As extensive as necessary, as gentle as possible

Basically all cancer surgeries: They should be performed as extensive as necessary, but at the same time as gently as possible. At best, the tumor is completely removed, and leaves the diseased organ and its function.

In addition to the conventional surgery so-called open surgery numerous other surgical techniques such as laser surgery and endoscopy are now possible, which are often gentler on the patient. They are as minimally invasive surgical techniques (also “buttonhole” – or “keyhole” surgery) because they mean less of an encroachment into the body. In case of laparoscopy, the operation is performed in the abdominal cavity through tiny incisions. The inside of the abdominal cavity is made ​​visible and enlarged via mirrors which are inserted through these incisions. Common application of the laparoscopy is in uterine body, rectum cancer and prostate cancer. Research shows that minimally invasive procedures like laparoscopy in the cause of cancers have the same chances of success as open surgery. In breast cancer, chances of relapse can usually be dispensed with completely removal of the diseased breast, because thanks to finer examination methods, with the help of which we notice the position of the tumor accurately and the tumor tissue can be cut out precisely today.

The less extensive surgery have another advantage: The patient can often recover faster from a conventional surgery than open surgery: They require less strong, better and faster painkillers so they can leave the hospital sooner. However, the minimally invasive surgical methods are not free of complications and also not be used for each tumor. Therefore, always have the benefits and risks of the various techniques are weighed against each other to decide which procedure is most appropriate to the patient and his disease.

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