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Tumor Removal

Tumor Removal

The term “tumor” always has an alarming overtone, but in fact it is not necessarily a life-threatening condition.  It can denominate any abnormal cell growth in the body, either benign or malignant. Healthy cells divide and grow in a controlled cycle and when they are not needed any more, they die in cell suicide. When this cycle is disrupted, cells begin to proliferate in an abnormal way.

There are countless types of tumors depending on the body part they are in and the abnormality of the growth. The most accurate method to examine a tumor before any medical treatment or surgical tumor removal is planned is taking a biopsy (a tissue sample) and mapping the area with one or various scanning techniques: MRI, CT or PET scan. Technically speaking biopsy can be regarded as diagnostic tumor removal.

If the tumor, either benign (do not spread to other parts) or cancerous (can metastasize to other parts), is in one well-definable location, tumor removal surgery may be the best option.

Therapeutic Tumor Removal Surgery

Benign tumor removal is not necessary if it does not interfere with the normal functioning of the body part. However, if it is visible or endangers health, tumor removal is a recommended and relatively safe procedure. A common type of benign tumor is fatty tumor (or lipoma), which is hardly harmful, but quite bothersome. Fatty tumor removal is advisable if they grow big, or they hurt and limit movement. Options for fatty tumor removal abound; besides the traditional open surgery, liposuction or locally injected substances can also solve the problem. The tumor removal procedure can be done by a cosmetic or general surgeon.

The outcome of cancerous tumor removal depends on the stage the tumor was diagnosed in and on the location as well. Even if the tumor cannot be fully removed the procedure is still performed and then complemented with radiotherapy or chemotherapy to treat the remnants of the tumor (it is commonly called cancer debulking, and in technical terms cytorecuction). When the entire tumor removal is possible, the surgeon will probably remove some healthy-looking tissue around the tumor to reduce risks of re-growth.

In case of metastatic tumors, when the doctors know that the tumor removal surgery will not cure the patient, it is still performed to alleviate symptoms and improve the patients’ quality of life.

Risks of Tumor Removal

  • Spreading malignant cells from one organ to the other
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Tissue damage


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