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Surgery: Can it spread cancer?

| Aug 10, 2018 | Surgical Errors |

One common myth about surgeries is that they have a high risk of spreading cancer to other parts of the body. The reality is that the risk is not high, but there is still a risk if the proper protocols are not followed. By following standard procedures during a surgery, the surgeon can prevent the cells from spreading after the surgery to remove tumors or take a biopsy.

The problem occurs when those protocols aren’t followed. For instance, a surgeon should be using different tools if they plan to take samples from different parts of the body. This helps prevent cross-contamination. Failing to do this, it would be possible to transfer cancer cells to other parts of the body, potentially increasing the speed at which the cancer spreads.

Not using different tools to work on separate parts of your body when cancer is a known component of the operation is a medical error on a surgeon’s part. There should always be steps taken to limit the spread of cancer during surgery when possible, and this is just one way that is known to help reduce the risk. Patients who find out that the same tools were used and that the cancer spread to other areas where they had operations should question if the surgeon made a mistake that has now caused irreparable harm.

Cancer is not always a “death sentence,” but spreading it as a result of poor techniques does nothing to help a patient recover. It’s important to hold surgeons responsible if they do not perform appropriately in the operating room.

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