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Surgical Oncology

The idea of surgery can be scary, but the truth is that surgery saves lives every day. Skilled surgeons with expertise in the treatment of cancer (oncology) are called surgical oncologists. Surgical oncology can be an important tool in fighting cancer. If you need cancer surgery, PeaceHealth is here to help. We offer advanced surgical oncology treatment close to your home, plus many related services to support you and your family. 

Who needs cancer surgery?

Surgery is a common, and effective, treatment for cancer. It’s usually offered along with other treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

You and your doctor might decide that surgery is right for you for any of these reasons: 

  • Help diagnose cancer (biopsies)
  • Remove cancer cells (tumors)
  • Stop cancer from spreading

If your treatment plan includes surgery, your care team will include a surgical oncologist (cancer surgeon) or a general surgeon along with other caregivers to support you through treatment and recovery. They’re all part of one team devoted to your health and well-being. 

Cancer surgery at a glance

How can surgery help?

Surgery helps by removing cancer cells from your body so they can’t keep growing and spreading. For some people, surgery gets rid of their cancer. For others, surgical procedures are an important part of a plan that includes other types of treatment, too.

PeaceHealth cancer surgeons are skilled, compassionate and caring. Your surgeon will always use the techniques and technologies that are most appropriate for your needs. For example:

  • Minimally invasive surgery: Your surgeon makes tiny incisions (cuts) that allows them to reach the cancer cells. Because the incisions are so small, there is less damage to your body. This means less pain and fewer complications. Specially trained surgeons use miniature surgical tools and cameras for these procedures.  
  • Robotic-assisted surgery: Sometimes doctors use special robots to guide their tools during complex procedures. This gives them more control, precision and better results as they remove cancer cells.
  • Open surgery: With larger incisions, this kind of surgery can be harder on the body. More tissue is taken out and recovery may take longer. In some cases, open surgery is the best option for a certain type or stage of cancer.
What to expect at PeaceHealth

PeaceHealth offers access to advanced surgical treatments, tools and techniques. If you choose surgery, your surgical oncologist and other specialists will focus on stopping the cancer with surgery. At the same time, we never forget about the person at the center of it all: you. Here’s what to expect.

  • Preparing for surgery: Your surgeon and a nurse navigator or care coordinator will prepare you for your surgery. They’ll explain the procedure and let you know what to expect, including risks and benefits. You’ll be able to ask questions, voice any concerns and ask for help if you need it.
  • After surgery: The complexity of your surgery will depend on your specific needs. Most people experience some pain and need recovery time after surgery. Your care team will help you through recovery.
  • Teamwork: Your surgical team will work closely with the rest of your care team. Your family and loved ones are part of your care team, too. With everyone working together, we can plan the best care and support. 
Why choose PeaceHealth

At PeaceHealth, surgical care includes more than the procedures you need to treat your cancer. You’ll also find:

  • Passionate providers you will get to know and trust.
  • Shared decision-making, so you and your family can get your needs met.
  • Surgery centers close to where you live, so you don’t have to go far for great care.

Our cancer care is fully integrated. This means your surgeon will work closely with the rest of your cancer care team, and with you and your family. We take a whole-person approach that includes many kinds of services:

  • If you need a social worker, family counseling, nutrition advice, financial aid or spiritual guidance, you’ll find many skilled, compassionate caregivers ready to help.
  • In addition to your surgeon, your care team will include a nurse navigator or care coordinator to answer questions, help with scheduling and be your advocate throughout your treatment.
  • You may also have access to complementary approaches that make life a little easier during cancer treatment. Offerings may include yoga, nutrition classes, support groups, advanced care planning and survivorship classes.


Next steps

If you or a loved one needs surgery, you have a lot on your plate. Now is a time you might want extra support from friends, family — and healthcare professionals.

To learn more, contact a cancer center near you, research PeaceHealth cancer specialists or visit our health information library for information and resources. 

All Surgical Oncology Locations