An operation to remove the cancer is crucial to treating breast cancer. Chemo, hormone, targeted, and radiation therapies are a few additional treatments used with breast cancer surgery or alone. Breast cancer surgery may be possible for those with a very high risk of developing the disease to lower that risk. Here is what you need to know.
It is often the first line of treatment.
Surgery is typically the first course of treatment for those with breast cancer. There are two primary forms of breast surgery:
- Breast-conserving surgery removes the malignancy and a boundary (margin) of healthy breast tissue around it.
- The entire breast, the nipple included, is removed during a mastectomy.
Before surgery, the doctor may provide chemo, hormone, or targeted therapy, implying that the operation is less extensive.
Which surgery is best for you?
The breast cancer surgery suggested for you will depend on the type and size of cancer, its location in the breast, and whether it has spread to other breast areas. Your breast size will also be a factor. Your doctor will explain why they believe a specific procedure is appropriate for you.
A mastectomy or breast conservation surgery may be viable for some patients. The rates of local recurrence and long-term survival are identical between mastectomy and breast-conserving surgery followed by radiation. The doctor may also partially or entirely remove
the lymph nodes and breast tissue.
What is a mastectomy?
All breast tissue—including the skin and nipple area—is removed in a simple mastectomy. Situations when a mastectomy is likely include:
- When a sizable portion of the breast is affected by cancer
- When there are several breast cancer.
- If one has inflammatory breast cancer
If your doctor advises a mastectomy, they ought to explain why. Even if breast-conserving surgery is an option, you must decide if you would instead undergo a mastectomy.
What is breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy)?
A lumpectomy, also known as a large local excision, is a surgical procedure used to remove breast cancer and a margin of healthy, normal breast tissue. The goal is to preserve as much of your breast as possible while eliminating the cancer cells. The leftover breast tissue on that side will typically undergo radiation if you have breast-conserving surgery.
Oncoplastic surgery is becoming more prevalent. This combines plastic surgery with breast cancer surgery, making it less likely that you will notice a dent or a significant difference between the breasts.
Surgery of the lymph nodes
Lymph vessels are a network of tiny tubes found in the breasts. The lymph nodes under the arm may occasionally get infected with breast cancer cells.
If you have invasive breast cancer, your doctor must examine the lymph nodes. The results will aid your treatment team in recommending the best courses of action for you, including whether surgery for the lymph nodes is necessary.
What is breast reconstruction?
You have the choice of breast reconstruction if you are undergoing a mastectomy. If you opt for breast reconstruction, it might be possible to have both procedures done simultaneously.