How is surgey used to treat cancer? ~ Health Guide

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How is surgey used to treat cancer?

Written by Mystic on Monday, August 04, 2008

Surgery may be able…

* To cure a cancer by completely removing the cancer cells from the body. Cure is often possible if the cancer is confined to the organ in which it had first arisen and there is no evidence of spread to other tissues and organs.
* To control a cancer by removing part of the tumour. Sometimes the entire tumour cannot be completely removed because it is situated too near delicate structures of the body or because it is too widely spread. The remaining cells could be treated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
* To control troublesome symptoms (palliation). Surgery may be able to remove a tumour or part of it which is painful or obstructing a vital organ like the bowel or lung. In this way normal function and comfort can be maintained for an extended period of time, even if the cancer itself is not curable.
* To rebuild tissues that have been altered or damaged due to the effects of cancer or cancer treatments. This is the purpose of reconstructive surgery.

Laser surgery

Sometimes laser surgery may be used to treat superficial cancers. It can also be used to relieve symptoms such as bleeding or an obstruction when the tumour cannot be removed. Laser surgery uses energy from light beams which, on contact with tissue, produce intense heat. The heat breaks up tissue which is then removed from the body.

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