10 doctors weighed in:

Is surgery ever appropriate for metastatic cancer?

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Thompson
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology
5 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Yes. In general surgery is not useful for metastatic (spread) cancer.
However in oligo (few) metastatic cancer -- especially for breast, colon, melanoma cancers patients may be rendered stage 4 ned (no evidence of disease). This may improve local control and symptoms, survival, and in a few cases even lead to cure. Removing the primary tumor (kidney) in renal cell carcinoma is helpful in met rcc.

In brief: Yes

Yes. In general surgery is not useful for metastatic (spread) cancer.
However in oligo (few) metastatic cancer -- especially for breast, colon, melanoma cancers patients may be rendered stage 4 ned (no evidence of disease). This may improve local control and symptoms, survival, and in a few cases even lead to cure. Removing the primary tumor (kidney) in renal cell carcinoma is helpful in met rcc.
Dr. Michael Thompson
Dr. Michael Thompson
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2 comments
Dr. Devon Webster
Some studies of met breast cancer at diagnosis show removing the breast tumor improves survival!
Dr. Scott Diede
Metastatic osteosarcoma to the lungs can sometimes be surgically removed with long term survival.
4 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

But it depends on the type of primary tumor and the extent of metastatic disease.

In brief: Yes

But it depends on the type of primary tumor and the extent of metastatic disease.
Dr. Randall Zuckerman
Dr. Randall Zuckerman
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2 comments
Dr. Ed Friedlander
It's a fundamental error to assume that, since the cancer has proved capable of spreading, that removing a metastasis is futile. It depends on the type of cancer and the extent of metastases.
Dr. Natarajan Raman
Surgery often (not always) has a great role in palliation and symptom control which is often not clearly appreciated by the lay person. Your doctor will be able guide you if this needed. Ask him about this.
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