St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center

Surgery

Surgery can be used to diagnose, treat, or even help prevent cancer. Most people with cancer will have some type of surgery. It often offers the greatest chance for cure, especially if the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.

Surgery is the oldest form of cancer treatment. It also plays a key role in the process of diagnosing cancer and finding out how far it has spread (staging). Advances in surgical techniques have allowed surgeons to operate on a growing number of patients with good outcomes. When a surgeon has to cut into the body to operate, it is called invasive surgery. Today, operations that involve less cutting and damage to nearby organs and tissues (minimally invasive surgery) often can be done to remove tumors while saving as much normal tissue and function as possible.

Types of Surgery

BrachyMesh

BrachyMesh brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy used to treat cancer. Unlike external beam therapy, in which high-energy x-ray beams generated by a machine are directed at the tumor from outside the body, brachytherapy involves placing radioactive seeds contained within a sterilized mesh a little larger than the size of a deck of playing cards, at the surgical site. After several weeks or months, the radioactivity level of the seeds eventually diminishes to nothing. The inactive seeds then remain at this site in the body, with no lasting effect on the patient.

“Brachytherapy has been in use for quite some time, and it has proven to be a successful treatment. We’re taking advantage of resurrecting an older but improved technology for use in lung cancers with excellent results,” said Gregory Cooley, MD, Radiation Oncologist from St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center.