Non-surgical oncology specialists
conduct almost half of the sarcoma surgeries, a study revealed. Researchers
from UC Davis analyzed the data of surgeries conducted over three years in 85
different academic medical centers in the United States. Careful examination
revealed how just 52 percent of sarcoma surgeries were conducted by orthopedic
oncologists and surgical oncologists who are actually trained to carry out
complex surgical procedures, including locating the deep sarcoma tumors located
within the soft tissues of the body.
According to the study, the
remaining 48 percent of sarcoma surgeries were carried out by general surgeons,
orthopedic surgeons and plastic surgeons, most of who did not have a
post-medical degree training involving the surgical management of sarcoma
tumors located deep within tissues.
This study from UC Davis is by
far the first to examine the distribution of surgical specialists throughout
The statistics revealed that
between the year 2007 and 2009, sarcoma surgeries were performed by 2195
general surgeons, 792 plastic surgeons, 533 surgical oncologists, 1979 general
orthopedic surgeons and 83 orthopedic oncologists.
"Our findings may have
significant implications for the quality of care provided to patients who
undergo surgery to resect, or remove, sarcomas in the deep soft tissue of the
limbs," associate professor of surgery at UC Davis and a surgical
oncologist, Robert Canter, explained.
Canter further emphasizes how
only surgical oncologists are trained enough to locate and remove sarcomas from
muscle and soft tissue, particularly in the arms and legs, without leaving
behind any residual sarcoma cells that could trigger the formation of another
General surgeons performing these
complex procedures could result in the need of a second surgery to remove the
remaining cancer cells, thereby increasing the risk of surgical complications.
The results from the study are
published online in Journal of Surgical