May 15, 2019 – Outcomes for Cancer Surgery


Anchor lead: How can you decide where to have an operation for cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you need complex cancer surgery, your outcome is likely to be better at a large academic hospital compared to affiliate hospitals, a recent study found. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says more robust data would help improve things all around.

Nelson: What we need are better methods to monitor and evaluate quality, to turn that information to the systems of care that are managing the surgeons doing them, and improve that quality. And the other is to have that data somehow available in ways that people can understand so that when you’re considering where to have an operation – by the way this isn’t just for cancer, it could be a hip replacement – that you have a sense of the what the quality of the surgeon doing the operation, the quality of the health system that supports you as you’re having your operation, so that you can have the best outcome.   :31

Nelson says for now, picking an experienced surgeon on an experienced team, with experienced care providers postoperatively is your best strategy. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.