Neuroendocrine tumor treatment often includes surgery; sometimes as the sole form of treatment and other times paired with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. In many cases, a traditional resection is used to remove part or all of a tumor, along with any nearby tissues that might also be cancerous. In some situations, however, a surgeon might recommend an advanced procedure, such as cryosurgery or radiofrequency ablation, to destroy cancerous tissue without physically removing it from the body.
The most common types of neuroendocrine tumor surgery include:
- Excision, or removal of a tumor and a small amount of surrounding healthy tissue
- Resection, or removal of the organ in which the tumor originated (such as a lung or the stomach, liver or small or large intestine)
- Fulguration, or surgical destruction of cancerous tissue using electrical currents
- Cryosurgery, or surgical destruction of cancerous tissue through exposure to extreme cold
- Radiofrequency ablation, or surgical destruction of cancerous tissue through high-energy radio waves delivered by a special probe
- Hepatic artery embolization, which blocks the flow of blood to cancerous cells in the liver, causing them to starve and die
For small, early-stage cancers that have not spread beyond the site of origin, an ampullectomy may be recommended.
The type of neuroendocrine tumor surgery recommended for a patient will depend on a number of factors, including the size and extent of the tumor and where it has developed in the body. At Moffitt Cancer Center, each patient is evaluated on an individualized basis, which enables our oncologists to provide carefully tailored surgical plans for every unique situation. Additionally, we have a team of experts who specialize exclusively in neuroendocrine tumor surgery, allowing them to perform complex procedures with an unparalleled level of precision and skill. And, because we are at the forefront of research for neuroendocrine tumor treatment, our patients are among the first to benefit from advancements in surgical techniques, such as minimally invasive procedures and interventional radiology.