Cancer Treatment Cancer Surgery In some cases, surgery may be a good option for cancer diagnosis and treatment.If your doctor suggests surgery at part of your treatment, it may be one of these surgery types. Types of Cancer Surgery> View All Curative Surgery Curative surgery is done to remove a tumor when it appears to be confined to one area, and when there is a possibility of removing all of the cancerous tissue. Debulking (Cytoreductive) Surgery Debulking (or cytoreductive) surgery sometimes occurs when removing a tumor entirely would cause too much damage to your surrounding organs. In these cases, your doctor may remove as much of the tumor as possible and then treat the remaining tumor cells with radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Diagnostic Biopsy Surgery Diagnostic biopsy surgery is used to get a tissue sample to identify your specific cancer and make a diagnosis. Preventive (Prophylactic) Surgery Preventive (or prophylactic) surgery is done to remove body tissue that is not cancerous but is likely to become cancerous. Staging Surgery Staging surgery helps determine the extent and the amount of disease.