If I am opened up will my cancer spread more quickly?

Question

First of all ---THANK YOU for all the time and caring everyone has put into this site and others to help us with our diagnosis. My question is -Is there any validity to the statement that once I am opened up to remove a cancerous tumor that the contact with the air can make it spread after I am closed up?- You here so many things and you just don't know what is fact or fiction or just an old wives tale. Thanks again.

Answer

I hear this concern quite frequently, i.e. that once a patient is opened up, the cancer can spread more rapidly. However, this is fiction! There's nothing more to say.

I guess I would add that many patients present with cancer very very late in the game. Then a surgeon opens them up, and then the tumor spreads widely. This has nothing to do with the surgery, but rather is related to the fact that they sought medical care late. It just seems that everything bad happened after the surgery. So again, I say the concern you raise is FICTION.