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Surgery to treat cancer



Surgery is a very common treatment for cancer, and often it is the first treatment that we offer.

Before surgery

Before you have surgery you will have a consultation with the surgeon. During that consultation, you may be asked to sign a consent form, agreeing to the operation.

Woman performing surgery.The surgery usually takes places in our main theatre departments at either Guy’s or St Thomas’, but there are also day surgery facilities at both hospitals. Some patients have their surgery as a day case, which means they come in for surgery and leave hospital on the same day. Other patients need to stay in the hospital after the operation to recover.

Many cancers can be treated effectively with surgery alone, but for some patients, results can be improved with additional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.


A surgeon came to my bedside and explained the operation to me, why it was necessary and how to prepare myself 

John, cancer patient