The Specialist Cancer Nurse's (SCN) role in coordination of care, education and communication among the multidisciplinary team (MDT) is of utmost importance as surgical procedures become more complex, surgical stays become shorter, and people with cancer undergo multimodal treatment in a short time frame.
Although the earliest documentation of surgical management of tumours was found in the Edwin Smith papyrus in Egypt circa 1600 BC, the modern era of elective surgery for visceral tumours began in America in the early nineteenth century.1 Developments in anaesthesia, and the introduction of the principles of antisepsis, reduced the surgical complications of pain and sepsis and facilitated use of surgery in the management of tumours.1
There are a number of roles and indications for surgery in cancer control:2
- prophylactic surgery
- diagnostic surgery
- definitive (or curative) surgery
- rehabilitative (or reconstructive) surgery
- palliative surgery.