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Perioperative Management of the Patient With Cancer*

Alan T. Lefor, MPH, MD
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*From the Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Department of Surgery, University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA.

Correspondence to: Alan T. Lefor, MPH, MD, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Department of Surgery, 8700 Beverly Blvd, Suite 8215, Los Angeles, CA 90048; e-mail: alan.lefor@cshs.org



Chest. 1999;115(suppl_2):165S-171S. doi:10.1378/chest.115.suppl_2.165S
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There are a number of conditions that present commonly in patients with cancer that may have a significant effect on the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative treatment of these patients. These effects can be broadly categorized into anatomic and physiologic effects and may be examined as direct effects of the tumor or as effects of therapy administered for the tumors. Tumors that cause anatomic effects of importance to perioperative management include head and neck tumors with airway obstruction, mediastinal masses with respiratory compromise, pericardial effusion and cardiac tamponade, and superior vena cava syndrome. Some tumors that cause physiologic effects include pheochromocytomas and carcinoid tumors. Anatomic effects of tumor therapy are important after radiation therapy to the head and neck and after radiation therapy to the abdomen. Tumor therapy has important physiologic effects in such areas as the cardiopulmonary complications of chemotherapy, hematologic effects of chemotherapy, steroid administration, and wound healing. While the list of topics is not exhaustive, this is a useful framework for discussing the effects of tumors and their therapy on the cancer patient, especially in regard to perioperative management. Most importantly, these examples demonstrate the importance of close cooperation among surgeon, anesthesiologist, and referring physician to assure the conduct of surgical procedures on the patient with cancer with maximal safety.


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