December 1, 2023 Word for Word Media 0Comment

Depending on the type and stage of cancer, you may need surgery as part of treatment. The type of surgery you’ll need depends on the type and stage of cancer you have and where it’s located.

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Knowledge and review

Firstly, ensure that you have as many consults and opinions to ensure that you’re comfortable with your decision of surgery. Understand the options and alternatives. Ensure the procedure has been explained to you as well the pros and cons and alternative options as well as the potential complications.


The most important part of your pre-surgery preparation is to ensure that you understand the consent and that the procedure has been explained, and that you sign the consent form.

Check co-payments

Doctors have to give you a cost estimate prior to surgery. If you have medical aid, check whether you have hospital co-payments and what comes out of your day-to-day savings, hospital- and oncology benefits.

Check your information

Ensure that all your information, contacts and medical history is conveyed repeatedly. Your allergy history should be on your medical clerk form; asked again by the admitting ward sister, the theatre sister and the anaesthetist.

Please inform the team that is caring for you about the medication you are on, this includes over-the counter-medication, such as asprin and pain medication, as well as supplements.

Surgical bookings and information

Prior to admission ensure that you have been informed of:

  • What time you need to be there and where you need to go.
  • When you can have your last meal and what you can eat.
  • When you can have your last liquids.
  • Information about your authorisation and cost estimates.
  • Dos and don’ts.

Note: The most common cancer surgeries are explained. However, there are many more surgeries for the different types of cancers.

Lung surgery

Once diagnosed with lung cancer and it’s determined that the tumour is resectable, you’ll undergo lung function tests and it will be determined if you’re fit for surgery. No eating six-hours prior to surgery and general anaesthesia will be administered. Thoracotomy There are two common approaches for lung cancer surgery which are thoracotomy and video-assisted [...]

Prostate surgery

Choosing the right treatment option may feel overwhelming but your urologist will make a careful individualised assessment of how to best control your disease while minimising any side effects. Radical prostatectomy The entire prostate and seminal vesicles (sperm sacs) are removed while taking care to protect urinary and sexual structures nearby. There are different techniques [...]

Colorectal surgery

Surgery is one of several methods used to treat colorectal cancer. It can be used to make the diagnosis, prevent colorectal cancer, remove cancer and treat complications. There are several types of surgery that can be offered. Preparing for surgery Your surgeon will make sure that you are fit to go to theatre. Sometimes you [...]

Breast surgery

For most breast procedures, radiology is required on the day or a few days prior. This ensures that the surgeon knows the correct area which should be removed. Often small markers, called V-markers, are placed by radiologists to mark areas that are concerning at the time of biopsies or prior to starting chemotherapy. Occasionally, an [...]

Gynae surgery

Gynaecological cancers can be devastating as they affect your sexual and reproductive health. Many women are afraid to discuss these very sensitive matters with their surgeon. There is always the option of harvesting eggs if fertility is desired and a frank discussion should be had about libido and the different look and feel of your [...]