Surgery is usually the first step in the treatment of breast cancer. This section explains the different types of breast cancer surgery.
Decisions about surgery depend on many factors. You and your doctor will determine the kind of surgery that’s most appropriate for you based on the stage of the cancer, and what is acceptable to you.
If you need to choose between surgeries then the two main surgeries available are Lumpectomy versus Mastectomy explains the pros and cons of each.
Lumpectomy also known as breast-conserving surgery, is the removal of only the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue.
DOWNLOAD - Guide to Day Case Breast Surgery
Mastectomy is the removal of all of the breast tissue.
Mastectomy is more refined and less intrusive than it used to be because in most cases, the muscles under the breast are no longer removed.
Who usually gets a mastectomy?
A mastectomy is appropriate for women with multiple or large areas of cancer or pre cancer cells (ductal carcinoma in situ), in whom breast conservation is not appropriate. Mastectomy may also be offered to women seeking risk reduction, that is, breast removal in order to decrease the possibility of breast cancer occurring.
DOWNLOAD - Guide to Mastectomy
if you have invasive breast cancer, your surgeon will probably remove some of the lymph nodes under your arm during your lumpectomy or mastectomy. Examining your lymph nodes helps your doctors figure out the extent of cancer involvement. Cancer in the lymph nodes is associated with an increased risk of having cancer cells in other parts of your body.
Complete axillary lymph node removal, can take place if the pre-operative lymph node biopsy shows that breast cancer has spread into the lymph glands
If the lymph gland look clear on the radiology or the biopsy is normal then these patients have a less-invasive sentinel lymph node dissection.
You can learn more about possible side effects of lymph node removal such as Arm Lymphedema.
DOWNLOAD - Guide To Recovery Following Breast Surgery
Breast Reconstruction is the rebuilding of the breast after mastectomy and sometimes lumpectomy. Reconstruction can take place at the same time as cancer-removing surgery, or months to years later. Some women decide not to have reconstruction and opt for a prosthesis fitted into the bra instead.