Cancer Surgery

Surgery to diagnose, stage or remove cancer may be an integral part of your care. Adventist Health’s surgeons are skilled in treating every type and stage of cancer.

As your partner in health, we discuss your surgery and answer any questions. We perform advanced procedures with a focus on excellent outcomes and support your safe, smooth recovery.

Advanced cancer care from expert surgeons

Adventist Health offers the full range of surgical options, with expertise in the most complex procedures. Our medical, surgical and radiation oncologists customize your treatment.

Cancer surgery can feel intimidating, but you’re in good hands with the experienced team at Adventist Health. We uphold stringent quality standards through our involvement in many state and federal measurement programs.

Whenever possible, we perform minimally invasive surgery, which uses small incisions, to speed your healing and recovery. For example, in an endoscopy, we use a thin, flexible tube with a camera to see inside the body to diagnose or treat cancer.

Your doctor recommends the most effective treatment plan for your situation. And your oncology nurse navigator guides you through every step of your treatment.

Surgery may be part of your care plan at different points during cancer care, including:

  • Diagnostic surgery: As part of the cancer diagnosis process, your doctor obtains a tissue sample to examine. We may remove a small area (incisional biopsy) or an entire mass (excisional biopsy). A biopsy can confirm a cancer diagnosis.
  • Staging surgery: Staging procedures give us more precise information about the size and spread of cancer, so we can plan an effective treatment. You may have staging surgery on its own or during a procedure to remove a tumor.
  • Curative surgery: Your surgeon removes all cancerous tissue, along with a small amount of nearby healthy tissue (and lymph nodes, in some cases). Curative surgery works best for early-stage cancer. You may receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
  • Preventive surgery: You may undergo surgery to remove tissue that isn’t cancerous yet but could become cancerous.
  • Debulking surgery: We may recommend debulking surgery to shrink tumors that are large or hard to reach. Debulking can help chemotherapy or radiation therapy kill the tumor cells. It can also reduce symptoms and slow the progress of cancer.
  • Supportive surgery: You may need a supportive procedure to help other cancer treatments work correctly, such as inserting a catheter to deliver chemotherapy.
  • Palliative surgery: We use palliative surgery to improve your quality of life by relieving pain and other complications of late-stage cancer.
  • Restorative surgery: This type of surgery repairs the function or appearance of your body after cancer treatment.

Our surgeons also perform specialized surgery:

  • Cryosurgery: Uses extreme cold to destroy diseased tissue
  • Laser surgery: A narrow, focused beam of light shrinks or kills cancer
  • Electrosurgery: Uses an electric current to remove or destroy cancer
  • Microscopically controlled surgery (Mohs surgery): Removes one thin layer of tissue at a time to aid in precise removal of skin cancer

We know you want to get back to living as normally as possible. Our team offers cancer rehabilitation and support to ease your transition back to regular activities. Your surgeon uses methods that preserve your body’s functions whenever we can, such as:

  • Fertility-sparing surgery
  • Limb-sparing surgery
  • Bowel procedures that preserve your ability to use the bathroom

Learn more about our cancer care

Let us be your partner in better health.

Learn about our oncology services, or find a location close to you. You can also read our patient stories and get answers to frequently asked questions.


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