The type of technique utilized in cancer treatment depends on the specific case of each patient. Types of surgeries performed include:
- Diagnostic surgery: a biopsy to diagnose the presence of cancer. Surgeons can often obtain a tissue sample by simply inserting a needle into the tumor (fine needle aspiration). A surgical lymph node biopsy involves the removal and testing of a lymph node to determine the spread of cancer.
- Supportive surgery: sometimes required to administer a certain type of cancer treatment such as ports underneath the skin for chemotherapy.
- Staging surgery: used to determine if cancer has spread and, if it has, what body parts are affected.
- Curative surgery: to remove malignant tumors.
- Palliative surgery: used to improve quality of life and ease pain for patients with advanced cancer.
- Restorative surgery: to return the body to a normal appearance cosmetically, such as breast reconstruction.
- Preventive surgery: a proactive approach to dealing with cancer. Surgeons will remove suspicious or precancerous tissue before it can become malignant.
- Robotic surgery: minimally invasive surgery resulting in less blood loss and less pain.
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