Surgical Oncology is the branch of surgery which focuses on the surgical management of cancer. Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Uptown specializes in Surgical Oncology of the breast and bone. In surgical oncology, surgical methods are used to diagnose, stage, and treat cancer. A primary care physician, specialist, or medical oncologist may refer a patient to a surgical oncologist for evaluation and surgery. Surgery may be preventive, diagnostic, involve removing a cancerous tumor, help relieve symptoms, or be reconstructive. A procedure, such as a biopsy, endoscopy, laparoscopy, or laparotomy, may be conducted to diagnose and stage.
Breast cancer is a common form of cancer, with more than 232,000 new cases diagnosed in the United States each year. The disease occurs most frequently in women but can also occur in men. The most common surgical oncology procedures performed are Mastectomies, lumpectomy, sentinel node biopsy and axillary dissection. Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Uptown offers a joint approach with Surgical Oncology of the breast and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures often occurring during the same surgery.
The suspicion of breast cancer often first arises when a lump is detected in the breast during breast examination or a suspicious area is identified during screening mammography. In order to diagnose the cause of the suspicious area or lump in the breast, a physician will perform a biopsy. A biopsy can be performed on an outpatient basis. During a biopsy, a physician removes cells for examination in the laboratory to determine whether cancer is present. Other information obtained from the biopsy sample will play an important role in treatment decisions. If the biopsy indicates that cancer is present, additional surgery may be performed after the patient and doctor select a course of treatment.