Surgical Oncology

Surgical Oncology Q&A

What is cancer?

Cancer occurs when cells inside the body stop growing and dividing normally. Those “angry” cells don’t die off at a safe rate and form tumors which can be malignant or cancerous.

What types of cancer does Dr. Marcus treat?

Dr. Marcus performs surgery on colon and breast cancer patients.

What is surgical oncology?

Surgical oncology diagnoses and treats cancer through surgical procedures. A patient’s candidacy for surgery is determined by factors like type, size, location, grade and stage of the tumor as well as his or her overall health, age, and fitness. Before surgery can be ordered, diagnostic and staging studies will be completed to confirm if the cancer is removable. The goal of the surgeon is to remove the cancerous tissue as thoroughly as possible. If some forms of cancer are caught in early enough stages, surgical removal can be sufficient to remove all of the cancerous tissue.

What surgical procedures can be used to treat breast cancer?
Surgery is the primary treatment for localized breast cancer tumors, with possible chemotherapy, radiation therapy or adjuvant hormonal therapy with tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor. Some of the common surgical treatments include:


  • Mastectomy
  • Lumpectomy
  • Ductectomy
  • Mammosite partial breast irradiation
  • Cosmetic options including skin and nipple sparing and oncoplastic techniques to achieve the best post-surgical results.

Can surgery be combined with other cancer treatments?

Surgery is often performed with the expectation of follow-up chemotherapy or radiation treatments. In some situations, a surgery may be performed to allow additional treatments to be conducted for example, a surgeon may place a central line into a patient’s chest to make chemotherapy sessions easier. Or surgery may allow for a radiofrequency ablation which burns out abnormal cells from the top layer of an organ or for cryotherapy, where abnormal cells are frozen and removed.