Surgical oncology is the branch of surgery applied to oncology; it focuses on the surgical management of tumors, especially cancerous tumors.
As one of several modalities in the management of cancer, the specialty of surgical oncology, before modern medicine the only cancer treatment with a chance of success, has evolved in steps similar to medical oncology (pharmacotherapy for cancer), which grew out of hematology, and radiation oncology, which grew out of radiology. The Ewing Society known today as the Society of Surgical Oncology was started by surgeons interested in promoting the field of oncology. Though it has not been ratified by a specialty Board certification, the area of expertise is coming to its own by the success of combined treatment with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and targeted biologic treatments. The proliferation of cancer centers will continue to popularize the field, as will developments in minimally invasive techniques, palliative surgery, and neo-adjuvant treatments.
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