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.
AdvertisementThis study from UC Davis is by far the first to examine the distribution of surgical specialists throughout the nation.
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 tumor.
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 Oncology.
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