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Surgery| is an important part of cancer treatment. Depending on the size and position of the tumour in the body, an operation to remove it may be the first part of treatment.
A biopsy of the tumour is often taken first to make the diagnosis. This involves taking a piece of tissue from the tumour so it can be looked at in the laboratory by the pathologist. They will then identify the type of cancer|.
Sometimes, an operation may be dangerous or cause too much damage because of the size and position of the tumour. In this situation, chemotherapy| or radiotherapy| may be given before the operation to shrink the tumour and make surgery easier.
Content last reviewed: 1 April 2012
Next planned review: 2014
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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