Lumpectomy or Partial Mastectomy
For cancers caught in their earlier stages, this surgical option may be appropriate. The cancerous lesion, as well as some healthy tissue around it, is removed with the goal of eliminating the cancer while keeping cosmetic results in mind. Most patients undergoing lumpectomy will require radiation therapy after surgery. Some may require chemotherapy and or hormonal therapy.
Removing the entire breast is called a mastectomy. A double mastectomy involves the removal of both breasts. Some mastectomies leave breast skin and nipples intact. These are known as skin sparing or nipple sparing mastectomies, respectively. Patients undergoing a mastectomy also receive adjuvant radiation, chemotherapies or hormonal therapy.
Modified Radical Mastectomy
A modified radical mastectomy is often used to remove breast tissue and lymph nodes. This is usually performed when the cancer has spread beyond the original tumor and into nearby lymph nodes or skin.
Early stage breast cancer patients will often have a choice of procedures, and as such will be able to evaluate the benefits and risks of each. A discussion, during consultation, with their surgeon is key to determining the patient’s best course of action.
In some cases, patients with a strong family history or genetic predisposition for breast cancer may opt for a prophylactic mastectomy. This involves the removal of breast tissue as a preventative measure. This is a highly personal decision that must be made by the patient with their trusted clinicians.
While breast cancer and resultant surgery can be a scary prospect, we want our patients to know that we are here to support them in the surgical realm and also emotionally as they navigate a very difficult time in their life. Modern medicine has greatly increased breast cancer survival and we are proud to be at the cutting edge of surgical treatment.
- Learn more about breast cancer support groups