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General Surgeon vs. Surgical Oncologist

Posted in: Articles December 27, 2016 By Stan Gottfredson Read by 688 Users

A general surgeon and a surgical oncologist can both be eligible for diagnosing and treating mesothelioma due to their medical expertise. However, despite their similar education, training, and certification, the first may prove to be more suitable for patients suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma, while the latter can offer targeted and effective diagnostic procedures, as well as treatment for the other types of mesothelioma.

Which Medical Expert Should I Choose for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Mesothelioma?

Although both general surgeons and surgical oncologists can provide you with effective diagnostic and treatment methods, your option should depend on the type of mesothelioma you are suffering from:

  • Because general surgery focuses on the abdominal region and its organs, such as liver, stomach, colon and pancreas, a physician specialized in this branch of medicine is typically better suited for managing preoperative, operative, as well as postoperative care of patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. Additionally, a general surgeon can also perform biopsies in order to confirm or infirm the presence of peritoneal mesothelioma.
  • Nevertheless, patients suffering from pleural, pericardial or testicular mesothelioma may benefit more by the diagnostic and treatment procedures of a surgical oncologist, as these types of malignant tumors are not located within the abdominal region. Surgical oncologists are qualified both to perform biopsies in order to evaluate the cells involved in a tumor and to subsequently remove the growth and surrounding tissue if it is indeed malignant and if the intervention does not entail any major risks for the patient’s health.

What Does a Biopsy Imply?

Biopsies, either performed by a general surgeon or a surgical oncologist, typically consist in the insertion of a thin hollow needle directly into the tumor in order to collect a small sample of tissue. The sample will then be sent to the laboratory for examination and the patient usually receives their results within two or three days. Depending on the type of biopsy performed, local or general anesthesia may be used before the proper intervention.

Who Can Provide the Most Reliable Diagnostic Procedure and Treatment Regimen?

Regardless of the occurring malignant disease, both medical professionals are able to offer accurate and efficient diagnostic procedures, as well as individualized treatment approaches depending on the particularities of your case:

  • If you are suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma, you may be referred to a general surgeon.
  • If, however, your diagnosis involves other types of mesothelioma, the expertise of a surgical oncologist may prove to be better suited.

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