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How to Prepare For Cancer Surgery

If you have been diagnosed with cancer and been advised that surgery is needed you will certainly have a number of questions in your mind about how to prepare for cancer surgery. Surgery of any type can be overwhelming because of a number of concerns. Therefore it will be essential for you to learn as much as you can about the treatment along with the condition you are being treated for. The surgical procedures for cancer are different and no two procedures are similar to each other.

Some parts of the surgical procedure will be similar regardless of the type of surgery being conducted. These include preoperative testing and preparation for the surgery when some type of anesthesia may be administered and a period of recovery. Knowing what you can expect can help you feel more comfortable and reduce the stress about the procedure

Things You Need To Know Before Cancer Surgery


When you are advised surgery for cancer you have a few weeks to understand the procedure although things may be different in some cases. If you are one of the fortunate who has some time available to you, you should be collecting the following information:

  • Collect more information about cancer and the treatment options available to you.
  • Talk to other people who may have similar conditions.
  • Find a health care team which is appropriate for your needs.
  • Most importantly, organize your thoughts.
  • Will the Surgery Cause The Spread of Cancer?

This is a misconception in the minds of most people that are required to undergo cancer surgery. It is possible because of the stress which is caused by the condition. However, it must be explained that cancer surgery does not cause the spread of the disease despite there being some situations when such occurrences have happened.

Doctors who have plenty of experience in treating conditions of cancer are careful to avoid situations that these. Presently it is common for surgeons to conduct needle biopsies where the chances of spreading the cancer are low. Earlier larger needles were used when conducting the biopsies and the chances of spending the cancer were higher.

A common perception about cancer surgery is that the condition will spread because it has been exposed to air. Many people may believe this perception because they feel worse after the surgery than before. Cancer does not spread because it is exposed to air but any delay in the treatment or a refusal to have surgery conducted can expose you to the harmful effects of this condition.

Questions You Must Ask Before Cancer Surgery

Before giving your consent for cancer surgery you must be trying to understand the benefits, risks and the side effects of the procedure. You may have a discussion with your healthcare team or the doctor about some of the questions listed below. The answers provided could give you a better feeling about your decision.

  • What is the objective of the surgery? Is it to eliminate cancer or to remove the tumor for testing for cancer or to help with any problem being caused by the tumor?
  • Will the surgery be successful?
  • Is there an alternative method to deal with cancer or relieve the problem?
  • Will I need other treatments for cancer such as chemotherapy and radiation before or after the cancer surgery?
  • How long will the surgery take?
  • How long will I need to remain in the hospital?
  • Will my body be affected by the surgery and will any of the changes have a permanent effect on my body?
  • What are the financial implications of the surgery on me and will my insurance cover the costs of the surgery?
  • What happens if I refuse the cancer surgery?
  • Do I have the time to consider other options or get a second opinion

You have the option of taking notes when asking the questions from your doctor and even asking the professional to repeat himself or herself if you haven’t understood any matters. It will be even better if you have a friend or a family member accompanying you to the doctor because he or she can refresh your memory about the discussion later. If possible you should also make an attempt to record the entire conversation because it will help you appropriately to prepare for cancer surgery.

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