Where Healthcare Professional Meet, Collaborate and Contribute 
Surgical oncologists

Surgical oncologists


A biopsy is a diagnostic tool used to determine whether or not cancer cells are present in the body. If the biopsy comes back positive for cancer, the next step is to consult with a healthcare provider about surgery to remove the cancer. This type of surgery is called a tumour resection. The surgeon will remove the tumour and surrounding tissues. They will also help you prepare for and recover from your surgery.

Why do you need to see them?

There are many reasons you might see a surgical oncologist. Some of them include:

Biopsy or Cancer Treatment: A surgical oncologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer using surgery. If you have a growth or tumour, your primary care doctor may refer you to a surgical oncologist for a biopsy. A biopsy is a medical procedure in which a small tissue sample is taken from your body to be tested for cancer. If you have already been diagnosed with cancer, a doctor may refer you to a surgical oncologist as part of your cancer treatment.

Preventive Surgery: You can also consult with a surgical oncologist for preventive surgery. This type of surgery involves removing any precancerous tissue that could develop into cancer in the future or removing specific organs to prevent cancer from developing. Preventative surgery is most common in patients who have genetic traits for developing cancer or who have close relatives who have been diagnosed with cancer.

What do they do?

To diagnose cancers, surgical oncologists may need to perform biopsies – which is the removal of tissue to examine it for cancerous cells. There are different types of biopsy procedures, which can include:

  • Needle biopsies such as fine needle aspiration or core biopsies
  • Excisional (removing an entire suspicious area, such as a mole or tumour)
  • Incisional (removing a portion of a suspicious area)
  • Laparotomy (abdominal surgery)
  • Endoscopic or laparoscopic (surgery using a scope)
  • Skin biopsy

After a biopsy, the surgical oncologist will send tissue samples to a pathologist in order to check and see if there are any cancer cells present. If the pathologist does find cancer cells, you will then see the surgical oncologist again in order to have either a tumour or other tissue removed. A surgical oncologist may also choose to perform a staging surgery in order to determine the size of the tumour and if cancer has spread.

Surgery can be an effective way to remove cancerous growths associated with skin, breast, liver, pancreatic, colon, or other types of cancers. When treating cancer, surgical oncologists may remove all or part of cancerous tumours, remove surrounding healthy tissue, or remove nearby lymph nodes. Surgical procedures vary based on the purpose of the surgery as well as the portions of the body and the size of the tissue affected. Surgical oncologists may perform open surgeries or minimally invasive procedures such as:

  • Laparoscopy
  • Laser surgery
  • Cryosurgery (freezing of skin and cells)
  • Hyperthermia (heating of tissue)
  • Microscopically controlled surgery
  • Endoscopy

Physician consultation is a good opportunity and you should be prepared for it.

  • Carry all necessary medical records for the discussion. It helps in better understanding your heart condition and avoids repetition of diagnostic tests.
  • Make sure you discuss your past medical history, surgical history, family history, and medications that you are taking.
  • Discuss about your lifestyle habits, dietary habits and also about your profession. Your lifestyle and nature of job may be associated with the risk for cardiac diseases.
Ask ChatGPT
Set ChatGPT API key
Find your Secret API key in your ChatGPT User settings and paste it here to connect ChatGPT with your Tutor LMS website.