Updates

BJC and Saint Luke’s Officially Combine as BJC Health System

Surgical oncology: Why choose us?

BJC HealthCare works with Washington University physicians, BJC Medical Group, and providers across the region to deliver extraordinary care. Cancer surgery can be lifesaving and is often a key part of cancer treatment. Our surgical oncology team provides a full range of surgery options for all types of solid tumor cancers. As our patient, you benefit from: 

  • Multidisciplinary team: We bring multiple experts together to develop the best cancer treatment plan for you. Surgical oncologists partner with medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and oncology nurses to ensure all your needs are met.
  • Minimally invasive options: Our surgeons use the latest minimally invasive methods, including laparoscopic, robot-assisted and laser surgery options. These techniques offer a faster recovery with smaller incisions and less pain.
  • Compassionate care: It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious about surgery. Our team takes the time to answer your questions and provide the emotional or mental health support you need.
  • National recognition: Our cancer care includes the world-leading Siteman Cancer Center. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Siteman among the top cancer centers in the nation.
  • Nurse navigators: We make cancer treatment easier so you can focus on healing. You receive a dedicated nurse navigator who schedules appointments and provides you with resources for transportation, emotional support and other needs.
What is surgical oncology?

Surgical oncology, or cancer surgery, has been a key part of cancer treatment for decades. Thanks to clinical trials and new discoveries, this field of medicine is always changing and improving. Our surgeons are on the forefront of this research, and they are knowledgeable in the latest and most effective cancer surgeries.

Depending on your needs, we may recommend cancer surgery for: 

  • Diagnosis and staging: We may perform a biopsy (take a tissue sample) to diagnose cancer and determine the stage of cancer. Our surgeons provide the full range of biopsy techniques, including minimally invasive fine needle aspiration, image-guided biopsies and surgical biopsies. Our specialists discuss the results with you and answer all your questions.
  • Cancer treatment: Our surgeons have specialized training in cancer excision and resection (tumor removal surgery). Their knowledge and expertise allow them to perform a wide range of surgeries and choose the one that’s best for you.
  • Cancer prevention: People with a strong family history of cancer or certain risk factors may benefit from cancer prevention surgery. Examples include a preventive mastectomy for breast cancer or prophylactic oophorectomy (removal of your ovaries). These surgeries are a big decision, and our team is here to help you make an informed one. 
What non-surgical treatments are offered for cancer?

Cancer surgery is an effective way to treat many different solid tumors. Our surgeons provide a wide range of leading-edge procedures, either alone or with other treatments like:

  • Our cancer centers provide the latest, most effective chemotherapy and medical oncology treatments with a personalized, compassionate approach.
  • Our immunotherapy team is knowledgeable in the latest immunotherapy options to treat cancer. We use advanced genetics to tailor your treatment.
  • Our radiation oncology team features board-certified radiation oncologists, physicists and cancer biologists who specialize in the latest radiation therapies.
What types of cancer surgery do we provide?

Our team carefully evaluates your health history and the tumor type, stage and location. We customize a surgery plan that will provide you with optimal results. No matter what type or stage of cancer you have, we’re here to help at each step.

We provide a full range of cancer surgeries, from routine to complex procedures. Our surgeons are experienced in:

  • Cryosurgery
    Our surgeons use special tools that freeze abnormal or cancerous cells to destroy them. This technique is effective for early-stage liver, prostate and skin cancers.
  • Endoscopy
    We use advanced endoscopy techniques to biopsy or remove cancer through a natural body opening like your throat. Our surgeons insert an endoscope (thin, flexible tube with a camera) into your body, and you have no outside incisions.
  • Laparoscopic surgery
    This technique allows surgeons to see inside your body without large incisions. During laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon makes several small incisions. They perform surgery using a laparoscope (thin, lighted tube with a camera) and slim surgical instruments.
  • Laser and radiofrequency surgery
    These techniques use heat to target and destroy cancerous cells, rather than making incisions.
  • Mohs surgery
    Mohs is an advanced type of skin cancer surgery that involves removing one thin layer of skin at a time. As the surgeon removes each layer, they examine it under a microscope for signs of cancer. Mohs often results in less scarring than other skin cancer surgeries, but it's only effective for certain skin cancer cases.
  • Robot-assisted surgery
    Several of our surgeons are skilled in using a surgical robot to assist with cancer surgery. With this technique, the surgeon controls robotic arms instead of using their own hands. The robotic arms are slim, steady and precise, and they can maneuver and turn in ways that a human wrist can't.
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