Surgical Oncologist

A surgical oncologist is a specialized surgeon who focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of cancer through surgical procedures.

Specific roles of a Surgical Oncologist:

  • To perform surgical procedures to remove cancerous tissues or tumors. The goal is to remove as much cancerous tissue as possible while preserving normal organs and tissues.
  • They may perform biopsies to obtain tissue samples for laboratory analysis.
  • After tumor removal, surgical oncologists may collaborate with reconstructive surgeons to restore the appearance and function of affected areas, particularly in cases where extensive tissue removal is necessary.
  • Are involved in postoperative care, monitoring patients for complications and collaborating with other specialists to provide comprehensive follow-up care.

Questions to ask a Surgical Oncologist:

  1. Why do you recommend surgery, and what are the goals of the procedure?
  2. What are the risks and potential complications of the surgery?
  3. What is the recovery process like?
  4. Will I need additional treatments after surgery?
  5. Are there alternative treatment options?
  6. Are there lifestyle changes I should consider before or after surgery?
  7. Can you provide a description of your surgical approach? i.e. anesthesia, pre-op etc.
  8. What can I expect to happen on the day of my surgery?

Areas of Specialty:

You might encounter these specialized oncologists in your cancer journey, depending on your cancer type:

  • Gynecologic oncologists– treat women with cancers of the reproductive system. Like medical oncologists, they prescribe cancer drugs, but also perform surgeries.
  • Urologic oncologists focus on cancers of the kidney, bladder and the male reproductive system.
  • Hematologist-oncologist are trained to diagnose and treat blood cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
  • Pediatric Oncologist are involved in the treatment of cancer or children and young teenagers who have become vulnerable to this disease from a young age.
  • Neuro Oncologists – specialize in treating nervous system, spine, and brain cancers.
  • Geriatric Oncologists – specialize in providing the best care for cancer patients who are 65 and older. Such older patients can have additional challenges. Hence, geriatric oncologists specialize in providing such patients with the best care and comfort.

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