Q: What is surgical oncology?
A: Surgical oncology is a subspecialty of surgery that deals with tumors. A surgical oncologist is a surgeon who specializes in treating cancer patients, especially those with complex problems. In general, he has to have at least two years of surgical oncology fellowship training at a cancer center approved by the Society of Surgical Oncology, after completing five years of general surgical residency . The training involves theoretical understanding of oncology in general and extensive surgical experience in complex cancer procedures in particular. At present, only some community hospitals are staffed with a surgical oncologist. However, in most hospitals, experienced general surgeons with particular interest in cancer surgery can treat common type of cancers such as breast, colon, and skin cancer equally well.
Q: What types of cancer surgery are offered at The Valley Hospital?
A: Almost every type, from head and neck cancer to complex liver surgery, is available. At present, some of these procedures can be performed using minimally invasive or robotic techniques.
Q: Is Valley Hospital a good choice for high-risk cancer surgery?
A: Unequivocally, yes.
There is no question that hospital choice matters, especially for high-risk surgical procedures. The problem is how to choose the right one. According to the Leapfrog Group's criteria, hospital volume for a particular procedure is correlated directly with outcomes, i.e., the higher the volume, the better the outcome. Valley Hospital is considered a high volume center for pancreatic surgery. Valley performs more than 40 pancreatic procedures per year, of which an average of 15 cases per year are the Whipple's Procedure. Our results are on par with the best national average. What separates Valley from major cancer centers is our personal attention to you. You and your loved ones can be assured that you will receive top-of-the-line treatment within a healing environment close to home and family. Our fully accredited, board-certified physicians, not residents, interns, or medical students will take care of you.