How does Surgery Help In Treating Cancer?

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Imagine that you are in an office and writing an important document. You have written almost 1000 words and then you make a small mistake in writing something.

What will you do next?

Tear the whole paper or just cross the wrong word and write the correct word again? Here ‘paper’ resembles our body and ‘words’ resemble cancer.

I guess most of you will prefer the second option, right? 

The same happens to our body when we develop cancerous cells. It is the job of an oncologist to treat it through various modes.

The object is to remove the affected cells, just as we just strike out the wrong word when we write.

I am Dr Dipayan Nandy and I work as an onco surgeon with the best multispeciality hospital in Vadodara- Janvi Multispeciality Hospital.

The reason why I need to explain this stuff to you is that people have a misconception about cancer. They think that cancer is the end and only chemotherapy is the solution.

Without wasting time, let’s begin.

How is cancer detected?

To understand how cancer is detected by an oncologist, you need to understand the basic structure of human cells first.

Recall what you had learnt in school days…

The amazing thing about our body is that cells grow on their own and they also get destroyed on their own. Our body knows which cells to grow and that is the reason you will never see a finger grow again if it breaks, whereas you will see a wound getting healed. All thanks to the mighty Lord!

The cancerous growth of cells takes place when genes produce abnormal proteins. So the main creators of cancer are genes.

Genes can mutate due to acquired mutations or Germline mutations. For simplicity, acquired mutations are caused by our misdeeds whereas Germline mutations don’t have an apparent cause.

This helps us to understand cancer better. If you have genetic mutations then there is a possibility of developing cancers.

I know you will already be knowing that you should stop consuming:

  • Tobacco
  • Smoking
  • Exposure of radiation
  • Alcohol etc

But now you will know why it is dangerous. It is because it causes genetic imbalance.

A little dose of positivity is needed while discussing cancer.

Symptoms of cancer

Symptoms of cancer vary from person to person. However, we notice the following symptoms and can consider them as the guiding stones.

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Sudden change in bowel habits
  • Lumps in the body
  • Difficulty in swallowing food or even saliva
  • A remarkable change in a wart or a mole
  • Nagging cough which does not get better with time

How can cancer be prevented?

As an onco surgeon, I always ask my parents to adopt a healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet. Also, you should stay away from tobacco, alcohol and radiation to stop the triggers of cancers from going to your cells.

Prevention is always better than cure. If you can’t stay away from the urge of using tobacco or alcohol then just close your eyes and imagine, what will happen if this is your last day on the Earth?

Else, go and visit patients who are already counting days. You will realize how painful, costly and deadly the disease of cancer is!

Do you know apart from the food and lifestyle the fabric used in making clothes can also cause cancer?

What are the treatment options for cancer?

An oncologist knows the best treatment of cancer depending on the stage your cancer is. We use various procedures like:

cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Biopsies
  • Surgery

Types of body parts that can be affected by cancer

Cancer can affect any part of our body. It is impossible to list every minute detail here. If you wish to study in detail about the different types of cancer and how it affects our body parts then you can click here.

How surgery helps in treating cancer?

Surgical oncologist’s main job is to judge the stage of cancer and to remove the damaged tissues or tumours from the body.

Surgery helps in treating cancer in the following ways:

  • Helps to diagnose cancer
  • To remove cancer affected tissue, tumour or body part from the body
  • To find the exact location of cancer
  • To find out the spread of cancer in human body
  • To relieve body from side effects of cancer

What are the different types of surgeries for treating cancer?

Diagnostic Surgery

In a diagnostic surgery for cancer, an oncologist conducts a biopsy. Biopsy refers to a procedure where we make small cut in the skin to:
  • To remove a part of the suspicious area, later it is given for pathological examination.
  • To remove the whole part which is affected and to give it for pathological examination.

Surgery to detect stage of cancer

Often we conduct surgeries to detect the stages of cancer and that helps us to judge the spread of cancer in the body and the chances of recovery.

Depending on the spread of cancer, we can suggest the suitable course of action.

Surgeries to remove tumour

Removal of tumours is perhaps the last recourse which we try if chemotherapy or radiation therapy does not work.

Debulking Surgeries

At times, it is difficult to remove the entire tumour either due to its size, location or any other factor. In such cases we generally try to shrink the tumour by radiation and operate later or sometimes remove just the part of the tumour and remove the left out part with the help of alternative therapies.

Palliative surgery

You might find it funny or annoying maybe… I don’t know. But the truth is palliative surgeries are often conducted to help you to recover after the main surgery for cancerous removal of tissue/tumour has been done.

Such surgeries can be conducted to:

  • Remove blockages
  • Help in removing pressure from certain nerves
  • To stop bleeding
  • To insert feeding tube
  • To prevent broken bones by inserting a rod

Reconstruction Surgeries

Many times we need to do reconstruction surgeries. For eg if someone has breast cancer then we need to remove breasts but later on we do reconstruction surgeries so that the body looks better.

Preventive surgeries

If someone is having problems with health and has a family history of cancer, in such cases we recommend preventive surgeries to prevent the occurrence of cancer.

Oncologists can operate every type of body part affected with cancer. But the cure is not in our hands, it rests in the hands of God. That is why it is essential to prevent it with lifestyle changes.

Types of minimally invasive surgeries

As an oncologist working with Janvi hospital, it is my effort to make the patient most comfortable so that he feels the least pain after the surgery. That’s the reason, at Janvi Multispeciality Hospital, we opt for minimally invasive surgeries like:

In this procedure we generally put in thin tubes inside your abdomen or other body parts. The tubes contain cameras and other surgical devices that help to operate on the affected organ. It is in fact the least invasive and least painful process.

Laser Surgery

In this type of surgery, we use a narrow beam of laser light and focus it on the infected part to kill the cancerous cells.

Cryosurgery

Similar to laser surgery, in cryosurgery we use liquid nitrogen to kill cancerous cells.

Microscopically Controlled Surgery

In this kind of surgery we go on cleaning the layers of the skin until we find normal cells.

Endoscopy

In case of endoscopy we use an endoscope that is inserted into the body through the mouth and has a camera attached to it. We use it mainly to get an idea about the infection.

Final words

Remember Cancer is not the end of the world. With time, we do have modern ways of dealing with the disease. Being a cancer patient is all about rearranging just one word. Instead of thinking will I survive, you must say I will survive. It’s just about a change in arranging words and changing your thinking pattern.

I had read somewhere “What Cancer Cannot Do – Cancer is so limited… It cannot cripple love, It cannot shatter hope, It cannot corrode faith, It cannot destroy peace, It cannot kill friendship, It cannot suppress memories, It cannot silence courage, It cannot invade the soul, It cannot steal eternal life, It cannot conquer the spirit.” Stay Blessed!