Cancer surgery is the removal of abnormal tissue (usually a mass or tumour) under anaesthetic.

For some people with bone or organ cancer, it may be necessary to remove tissue around the cancer as well, to make sure it’s properly removed. Sometimes, unfortunately, a whole organ will need to be removed, or a body part amputated.

Surgery is also used for other purposes:

  • In the form of a biopsy, surgery can help to give an accurate cancer diagnosis.
  • Some cancer patients may need surgery to insert a central line before they start chemotherapy.
  • It can be used to restore a part of the body, such as creating a new bladder.
  • It can restore appearance, such as breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

Generally, surgery is combined with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy treatment.