Cancer Surgery

Our Approach to the Treatment of Cancer

We at Maryland Surgeons believe that when it comes to your cancer care the relationship between patient and surgeon is crucially important to providing top-notch and personalized care, and that a multidisciplinary approach is needed.

We will work with you the whole way from diagnosis to staging and treatment and will work with your other doctors to produce a tailored treatment plan that will provide the best treatment for your cancer.  We take a holistic approach and work with each patient and their families to educate them about their cancer and the role that surgery can have in improving outcomes.

Our oncology team is specialty trained to manage complicated cancers. We have developed strong relationships with many other physicians to produce a multidisciplinary team, which has been shown to improve outcomes.  Depending upon the cancer, minimally invasive surgery using laparoscopic or robotic techniques can be performed to reduce the size of the surgical incision and produce better cosmetic results, and easier recovery.

We specialize in the following procedures:

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer
    • Our Surgeons treat cancers that occur all throughout the digestive tract.  Common cancers that we treat include: esophageal, gastric, small-intestinal, and colorectal, using both traditional open and state-of-the-art minimally invasive operation, depending on the situation.  These cases are reviewed in our Multidisciplinary GI Tumor Board.
  • Pancreatic and hepatobiliary cancers
    • Another part of the GI tract is the pancreas and the liver.  The surgical treatment of pancreatic and hepatobiliary (liver and bile-duct) cancer requires advanced training, expertise, and teamwork.  Our fellowship-trained pancreatic and hepatobiliary surgeons have this combination of training, expertise, and teamwork, and are leaders in the field, having published several articles and book chapters written for other surgeons.  They perform all types of tumor removal and ablation at Saint Agnes, a high-volume pancreatic and hepatobiliary surgery center.  These operations are done both in a traditional open and state-of-the-art minimally invasive operation, depending on the situation.  These cases are reviewed in our Multidisciplinary GI Tumor Board.
  • Breast cancer
    • Our breast-cancer surgeons are experts in their fields and offer all types procedures for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.  Patients are treated in a multidisciplinary fashion and surgery is often performed in conjunction with other treatment.  A lymph node biopsy is sometimes done to help diagnose if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. These cases are reviewed in our multidisciplinary breast tumor board.
  • Endocrine cancers
    • Endocrine cancers are most often thyroid cancers, but parathyroid and adrenal cancers also occur and are also treated surgically.  Thyroid cancer can occur due to a genetic predisposition or due to spontaneous causes.  Removal of all or part of the thyroid is done to treat the cancer and evaluate for any metastatic disease.
  • Melanoma
    • Melanoma is a form of aggressive skin cancer.  Treatment involves removal of the affected tissue and often an evaluation for metastatic disease by lymph-node mapping.
  • Soft-tissue sarcomas
    • Soft tissue sarcomas form from connective tissue, such as fat, muscle, or nerves (as opposed to glands, the cancer of which we call adenocarcinomas, which is what common colon cancer is, for example).  Sarcomas can often go unnoticed until they grow large enough to cause symptoms.  They are typically treated surgically.

Please contact us at (443) 574-8500 to set up an appointment or to get more information about how our surgeons can help you.

Frequently Asked Questions – Oncology

Q. What is cancer?
A. Cancer is a disease of unregulated growth.  It can take over the body like a weed can take over a garden.  Our bodies are made up of trillions of tiny building blocks, called cells.  In general, these cells grow when they are supposed to grow, like when we need to heal a cut, and they stop growing when it's time to stop.  The body controls this process by sending signals to tell the cells exactly when to grow and when to stop growing.  In cancer, one cell may lose the ability to respond correctly to these signals and begins to grow out of control, usually because of a genetic mutation, or a change in the cell’s DNA.  Then, the cell continues this uncontrolled growth until it takes over the body.  Fortunately, there are many good treatment options to stop this uncontrolled growth, and one of the most important is surgery.

Q. What is the “multidisciplinary tumor board”?
A. Multidisciplinary tumor boards are weekly meetings at Saint Agnes that comprise clinicians from different disciplines, including surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, diagnostic and interventional radiology, pathology, gastroenterology, and nursing.  This team evaluates patient records, imaging, and pathology to formulate a consensus regarding diagnosis and treatment.  The benefit of multidisciplinary teams is providing patients with the benefit of input from multiple different perspectives.  These weekly conferences are held for breast, GI, and other cancers, allowing clinicians to discuss complex cases

Q. Is the Saint Agnes Cancer Institute accredited?
A. Yes. In fact, it is the only cancer center in Baltimore to have received three-year accreditation from the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative and Outstanding Achievement from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

Q. What is Chemotherapy?
A. Chemotherapy is treatment using medicines to treat disease, generally cancer.  There are many different kinds of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy, like radiation therapy, is sometimes used in addition to surgery to treat cancers.

Q. What is Medical Oncology?
A. Medical oncology is the medical specialty in which physicians use medicines, chemotherapy, to treat diseases, most often cancer.  Physicians trained in this specialty are called medical oncologists.

Q. What is Radiation Therapy?
A. Radiation therapy is the treatment using radiation (a form of energy) from natural or artificial sources to treat disease, generally cancer.  There are several natural sources that produce or emit radiation, which is used like x-rays, an artificial source of radiation that is used in diagnostic radiology.  Radiation therapy, like chemotherapy, is sometimes used in addition to surgery to treat cancers.

Q. What is Radiation Oncology?
A. Radiation oncology is the medical specialty in which physicians use radiation therapy to treat diseases, most often cancer.  Physicians trained in this specialty are called radiation oncologists.

In Affiliation With Saint Agnes Healthcare


For more than 150 years, Saint Agnes Hospital has been dedicated to the art of healing by providing exceptional care to the greater Baltimore area. Built on a strong foundation of excellent medical care and compassion, Saint Agnes is committed to providing the best care for our patients for many years to come.