When most people think of cancer surgery, they picture a surgeon cutting major incisions (cuts) in the skin, muscle, and other layers. Alternatively, they envision a doctor cutting into and removing, repairing, or replacing diseased body parts with a surgical knife (scalpel) and other surgical instruments. The term “conventional surgery” refers to a type of cancer surgery that is standard or traditional.
Newer surgical techniques are less invasive, which means they employ a variety of surgical equipment, need smaller incisions, and result in less discomfort and faster recovery times. Some of these methods are explained in this article.
A laser is a powerful and highly focused beam of light energy that can be used for very precise surgical procedures. It can be used to cut into a tissue instead of a blade or scalpel. It can also be used to vaporize tumors and precancerous growths, as well as treat cancers of the cervix, penis, vagina, vulva, lung, and skin.
Despite the fact that laser surgery sounds dangerous, it involves less cutting and damage since it is less invasive than traditional surgery. Fiber optics and customized scopes, for example, allow the laser to be aimed within a natural bodily orifice without the need for a major cut. The laser is then properly directed at the tumor and destroyed.
Photoablation or photocoagulation is a type of surgery that uses lasers to destroy or shut tissues or blood vessels. When big tumors clog the windpipe (trachea) or swallowing tube (esophagus), creating breathing or eating problems, this sort of cancer surgery is frequently done to ease symptoms.
Cryosurgery freezes and kills aberrant cells using a liquid nitrogen spray or an extremely cold probe. Pre-cancerous disorders affecting the skin, cervix, and penis are sometimes treated using this approach. Some malignancies, such as those of the liver and prostate, can be treated with cryosurgery. To direct the probe to the cancer cells, a scan (such as an ultrasound or CT scan) may be employed. This reduces the risk of harming neighboring healthy tissue.
To kill cells, a high-frequency electrical current might be utilized. Some skin and oral cancers may be treated this way.
RFA stands for radiofrequency ablation, which is a sort of hyperthermia treatment that employs heat to kill cancer cells. RFA uses high-energy radio waves to heat and destroys cancer cells through a needle. Cancer tumors in the liver, lungs, kidneys and other organs may be treated using RFA.
Microscopically controlled surgery is another name for Mohs micrographic surgery. It’s used to shave off one extremely thin layer at a time to eradicate some skin malignancies. The doctor examines the tissue with a microscope after each layer is removed to look for cancer cells. This step is repeated until all of the cells in a layer appear to be normal.
When the extent of the cancer is unknown or when as much healthy tissue as possible must be preserved, such as when treating skin malignancies on the face, Mohs surgery is utilized.
A thoracoscope is a narrow tube with a small video camera on the end that can be inserted into the chest after the lung has collapsed through a small cut. The doctor will be able to view the inside of the chest as a result of this. Small tumors on the surface of the lung can be removed, and tissue samples of any areas of concern on the lining of the chest wall can be collected. Fluids can also be evacuated.
This sort of surgery requires less cutting and has even been used to remove cancerous sections of the lungs. According to studies, the results of this procedure are similar to removing a portion of the lung through a cut in the side of the chest for early-stage lung cancer.
Robotic surgery is a sort of laparoscopic (or thoracoscopic) surgery in which the surgeon controls some of the surgical instruments with precision robotic arms. The benefits of this type of surgery are similar to those of laparoscopic and thoracoscopic surgery: it can help reduce blood loss during surgery and post-operative pain. It can also help people heal faster by reducing hospital stays.
Colon, prostate, and uterine malignancies are all treated by robotic surgery.
Stereotactic radiation therapy:
Newer radiation treatments have been developed as doctors have learned how to better manage the energy waves utilized in radiation therapy, blurring the distinctions between traditional types of treatment. Stereotactic radiation treatment is a type of radiation therapy that is so exact that it is frequently referred to as stereotactic radiosurgery, despite the fact that no cuts are made. Even though there is no knife involved, the equipment that offers this treatment is called Gamma Knife and CyberKnife. Stereotactic radiation therapy delivers a large precise radiation dose to a tiny tumor area by employing radiation sources from multiple angles. This procedure is most commonly used to treat tumors in the brain, although it can also be used to treat cancers in the head, neck, lung, spine, and other areas. Researchers are also looking into how it could be used to treat different types of cancer.