Cancer surgery is an operation or procedure to take out a tumor and possibly some nearby tissue. It is the oldest kind of cancer treatment, and it still works well to treat many types of cancer today. A doctor who specializes in cancer surgery is called a "surgical oncologist."
You might have surgery to remove a tumor, help your body work the way it used to, or relieve side effects. You might also need surgery to find out:
If you have cancer
Where the cancer is located
If it has spread or is affecting other organs in the body
Surgery can be performed in a doctor's office, clinic, surgery center, or hospital. Where you go depends on the type of surgery and how much time you need to heal. Your surgery may require medication to block the awareness of pain, called anesthesia. There are different types of anesthesia depending on the type and extent of the surgery.
If you need to stay in the hospital overnight or for several days after surgery, it is called inpatient surgery. Or you might not need to stay in the hospital at all. If you can go home the same day, it is called outpatient surgery or ambulatory surgery.