Surgical Oncology

Guthrie Surgical Oncology

Often, surgery is the first method for diagnosing or treating cancer. Surgery can then be followed by other treatment including chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Guthrie surgical oncologists work together to provide the best possible outcomes.

Surgery may be performed to:

  • Prevent cancer by removing growths.
  • Determine the cancer Stage and progression.
  • Remove the entire tumor (curative).
  • Remove a majority of the tumor (tumor reduction).
  • Alleviate pain or other complications (palliative surgery).
  • Reconstruct affected areas (breast reconstruction, facial).

What to Expect:

At Guthrie, our surgical oncology team provides surgical options to best meet your individual needs.

During your first appointment, your surgical oncologist will:

  • Review your medical record, including any X-rays and biopsy results.
  • Discuss your health history and family history of cancer.
  • Discuss the potential need for a biopsy to accurately diagnose determine the cancer stage.
  • Explain the recommended treatment options and answer any questions.

Preparing for your first appointment:

At your first appointment, your surgical oncologist will review any previous tests, procedures, or treatments. If you are a Guthrie patient, your physician has access to your electronic medical record. If you received treatment elsewhere, you will need to bring the following to your first appointment. Our team can assist you in gathering this information to prepare for the first appointment.

Medical Summary

This is a description written by your physician detailing your medical conditions and any treatment you received. A medical summary will be needed from your primary care provider and any specialists seen.

Your Medication

Please bring a list of all medications you currently take, including:

  • Prescribed medications from a physician.
  • Over-the-counter medications.
  • Vitamins.
  • Herbal products.

Your medication list should indicate the following information:

  • The name of each medicine.
  • The dose you take.
  • How often you take it.

Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic tests include X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, PET scans, bone scans, stress tests, echocardiograms and electrocardiograms. Please provide images on disc or on film.

To obtain your diagnostic tests:

  • Contact the hospital or radiology center where the images were taken.
  • Request for the images and a written report on disc. If the images are not available on disc, then ask for the actual films.

Pathology Slides from Any Biopsies or Surgical Procedures

If you had a biopsy or surgery at another facility, please contact that office to request slides and a copy of the written report.

Insurance Card and Photo ID

We will need the name of your health insurance company, along with other information that appears on your health insurance card. In addition, please bring a photo ID. If you are covered by more than one insurer, please bring both cards.

Other Ways to Prepare for Your Appointment Include:

  • Arrange for a friend or family member to come with you. You will receive a lot of information and it is helpful to have someone else there to take notes.
  • Bring questions you may have. We welcome all questions.

FAQs

What is the difference between a Surgical Oncologist and a General Surgeon?

Guthrie Surgical Oncologists are fellowship-trained in general surgery and have undergone additional specialty training in cancer surgery. Furthermore, each Surgical Oncologist focuses his or her clinical practice on management of only one or two types of cancer. Thus, surgical oncologists offer a high degree of specialization and expertise.

Do I need to see a specialist in cancer surgery?

Surgical oncologists have advanced training and may have access to newer approaches and/or clinical trials to treat cancer. Also, because of our multidisciplinary approach, the surgeon is part of a team of oncologists working together to provide you the best care possible.

Physicians and Healthcare Providers

David Bertsch, MD

Location(s):

Sayre

Burt Cagir, MD

Location(s):

Big Flats
Sayre

Hang Dang, DO

Location(s):

Sayre

Kristen Hatfield PA-C

Location(s):

Owego
Sayre

Thomas VanderMeer, MD

Location(s):

Ithaca
Sayre

Nan Walsh, MS, CRNP

Location(s):

Sayre