The success of oncologic surgery, a pillar of patient survival

Cancer is a very common disease and the second leading cause of death in Spain, after cardiovascular diseases. Over the last few years, survival has improved steadily, achieving great advances due to new pharmacological therapies and hyper-specialization in the surgical treatment of many types of cancer.

To fight cancer, we have three main tools at our disposal: surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, including the new anti-angiogenic treatments, monoclonal antibodies and immunotherapy.

However, successful surgery is the main survival factor in most tumors. Currently, 70% of cancers are cured with oncological surgery, and in more than half of the remaining 30% it plays a very important role as a complement to treatment.

Cancer surgery, a challenge on which the cure and life of the patient depends

Oncological surgery has become an extremely complex act, where chemotherapy or even radiotherapy can be combined in the same act to achieve a greater benefit for patients. It is very important to emphasize that the success of the surgery is given because it is performed by expert surgeons in Oncology. Numerous studies have shown that when surgery is performed by a specialized oncological surgeon, survival is doubled. For this reason, there are countries in Northern Europe that have adopted a policy of centralization, that is to say, each team of surgeons concentrates on a single type of cancer. Thanks to this technique, survival has increased by up to 20%.

A good example is found in the treatment of peritoneal carcinomatosis of colorectal origin, where the median survival is 20 months when surgery is performed by non-expert hands, while it doubles when performed by specialized surgeons. In ovarian cancer, a complete quality surgery without leaving residual disease offers a survival of more than 8 years, while the average survival of an incomplete surgery is 2 and a half years. This is a trend that is repeated in other cancers, such as sarcomas, where networks of experts have been created for their diagnosis and treatment.

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Therefore, there is no doubt that progress in medical treatments is very important, such as immunotherapy or target therapies. Even so, success in oncological surgery continues to be the fundamental pillar for patient survival. It is therefore very important that patients are treated surgically by accredited expert teams in order to make the most of the new drugs.

At Quénet Torrent Institute they carry out, in a highly specialized way, all the existing surgical techniques indicated for the surgical approach of any tumor: gynecological, hepatic, appendicular, pancreatic or peritoneal. The aim is to offer the best guarantees of a surgical intervention of high technical complexity with the use of the most advanced technologies. At Quénet Torrent Institute they work in collaboration with other specialists (anesthesiologists, radiologists, oncologists, pathologists) and a nursing team trained in this type of surgery. Surgical techniques reach their maximum effectiveness thanks to the combination of treatments adapted to the needs of each patient and their environment.