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Surgical oncology is the branch of oncology that uses invasive interventions for the diagnosis, assessment, treatment and management of malignant tumours. Over the years, the modality of surgical oncology has evolved tremendously with the advent of a wide spectrum of surgical approaches and techniques that have made it possible to address the most complex cancers with added precision and accuracy.
Surgery is not an option for every patient and there are certain eligibility criteria that need to be fulfilled. The whole treatment plan is devised in accordance with the shape, size, nature and type of the tumour, as well as the overall health evaluation of the patient. The surgery may be combined with other treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy, so as to add to the effectiveness of the treatment. These may be given before the surgery to reduce the size of the tumour and make it easier to remove, or after the surgery to destroy cancerous cells that were left behind during the surgery.
Surgery can be performed using the conventional method, or via laparoscopic, minimally invasive or robot-assisted technique. The type of the surgery depends upon the location and size of the tumour.