Breast Oncology Surgery

October 21, 2016

How Do You Decide Which Type of Breast Cancer Surgery Is Right for You?


When evaluating your breast cancer surgery options, the procedure you choose will ultimately depend on your condition, personal preferences, and lifestyle.

There are two main types of breast cancer surgery: mastectomies, which involve the full removal of your breast, and lumpectomies, which involve the removal of affected tissue. Choosing between a mastectomy and lumpectomy will require you to carefully consider your breast cancer surgery options and take a proactive role in your care. A qualified breast surgical oncologist in Arkansas can support you as you make a decision and offer insight into treatment options, as some people are candidates for only one procedure. If you have a choice, consider the following factors when comparing the types of breast cancer surgery.

Because a mastectomy involves the surgical removal of the entire breast, it increases the likelihood that the procedure will completely remove the cancerous tissue. If you are concerned about the possibility of radiation therapy after breast cancer surgery, a mastectomy could make radiation unnecessary. Your doctor can let you know if a mastectomy will help you avoid additional treatment.

Your doctor will also be able to discuss the choice between the two main types of mastectomies. A total mastectomy is the removal of the entire breast and possibly some lymph nodes. For a modified radical mastectomy, the entire breast is removed along with lymph nodes and the lining over the chest muscles. If you choose to undergo a mastectomy, your surgeon may be able to perform a breast reconstruction surgery during or after your procedure.

A mastectomy is a major surgery and will require you to spend at least one night in the hospital. This breast cancer surgery option also features a slightly longer recovery time than that of a lumpectomy. You will feel sore after the surgery, and if you have not had a reconstruction at the same time, you may want a second surgery to restore your breast.

A lumpectomy removes the cancerous part of your breast and leaves healthy tissue intact. If you want to avoid a mastectomy and keep your healthy breast tissue, then this is the best option. After the lumpectomy, you will undergo radiation therapy. This can take anywhere from five to seven additional weeks and will impact your life in a variety of ways. People receiving radiation therapy often feel tired, weak, sick, and unable to work.

A lumpectomy can preserve the natural look, feel, and sensitivity of your breast. In most cases, you will not require a second surgery to restore your breast. When evaluating this breast cancer surgery option, you should consider the radiation therapy a necessary step in the treatment process.

Survival and Recurrence Rates
The outcomes for both types of breast cancer surgery are similar. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the survival rate for a lumpectomy and radiation therapy is the same for a mastectomy. The risk of cancer spreading to other organs is also the same for both procedures. However, the rate of recurrence is slightly higher for those who opt for a breast-saving lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy.

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are evaluating your breast cancer surgery options, contact Arkansas Surgical Hospital at (877) 918-7020 for an appointment with our breast cancer specialists.

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