Surgery in the mainstay of cancer treatment
Sunday, 30 December 2007

More than two and half lacs of patents are diagnosed with cancer in Bangladesh. Everyday there is emergence of newer problems in medical science. Surgery is the oldest form of cancer treatment. The branch of surgery which deals with cancer patients is called surgical oncology and surgeons are called oncosurgeons.

More than two and half lacs of patents are diagnosed with cancer in Bangladesh. Everyday there is emergence of newer problems in medical science. Surgery is the oldest form of cancer treatment. The branch of surgery which deals with cancer patients is called surgical oncology and surgeons are called oncosurgeons.

Surgery has also an important role in diagnosing and staging (finding the extent) of cancer. Advances in surgical techniques have allowed surgeons to successfully operate on a growing number of patients.

Today, less invasive operations offer removal of tumors saving as much normal tissue and function as possible. Surgery offers the greatest chance for cure of many types of cancer, especially those that have not spread to other parts of the body.

Surgery can be done for several reasons. The purposes are as follows:

Diagnostic surgery: This is to get a tissue sample to tell whether cancer is present or not and to describe the type of cancer. Usually it is done by a biopsy (a procedure by removing a tissue sample for histological examination).

Staging surgery: Staging surgery is done to find out the extent of cancer spread.

Curative surgery: Curative surgery is done when a tumour appears to be confined to a particular area. It is done at an early stage and can be accompanied by chemo or radiotherapy.

Debulking surgery: This is done to debulk a tumor when removing the entire tumor would cause too much damage to an organ or nearby tissues.

Palliative surgery: This type of surgery is used to treat complications of cancer in advanced or end stage. Palliative surgery can also be used to correct a problem that is causing discomfort or disability.

Other procedures include restorative or reconstructive surgery, preventive (prophylactic) surgery, laparoscopy, thoracoscopy, or mediastino-scopy.

Special surgery techniques: Some newer techniques have drastically changed the traditional perception of surgery due to the introduction of laser surgery, cryosurgery, radiofrequency ablation or RFA, high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU).

There are risks that go with any sort of medical procedure and surgery is no exception. Be sure to discuss your particular case with your doctor. S/he can give you a better idea about what is going to be done on you.

One common myth about cancer is — it may spread if it is exposed during surgery. Some people may believe this because they often feel worse after the operation. But they should keep in mind that cancer does not spread due to the exposure during surgery. If you delay or refuse surgery only based on this sorts of myth, you are doing harm to yourself for sure.

If you have a solid tumor, sometimes surgery alone will provide a cure, but often chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or biologic therapy may be needed in addition.

Cancer survival rates or survival statistics tell you the percentage of people who survive a certain type of cancer for a specific amount of time. For instance, the 5-year survival rate for prostate cancer is 99 percent. That means that of all men diagnosed with prostate cancer, 99 of every 100 lived for five years or more after diagnosis. When cancer patients live five years beyond the time of diagnosis and treatment, it is generally considered that they are cured.

Presently, there has been an increase in the survival rate for many cancers.

In Bangladesh, generally patients are reluctant to come timely to the expert doctors. When they present usually cancers spread outside the organs affected.

At present a 50 bed lone Govt hospital in Mohakhali, Dhaka is running with a department of surgical oncology doing varieties of high-tech operations. Very soon it will be expanded to 150-bed hospital. A post graduate course in Surgical oncology is also running in this institute.

Many people don’t know this information and they can easily seek cancer care in this tertiary institute.

Source: http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=17008

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