If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer it is essential to educate yourself about treatment options, including breast cancer surgery options. Meeting with a dedicated breast surgical oncologist, someone who specializes in the treatment of patients with breast cancer, is critical.
A breast cancer surgeon, after an initial diagnosis, will investigate a number of factors to make a recommendation for the type of breast cancer surgery needed. These include:
- The size of the breast cancer.
- The characteristics (molecular profile, etc.) of the breast cancer tumor(s).
- The location of the tumor(s) within the breast.
- The presence of enlarged or suspicious axillary lymph nodes.
- The patient: Each patient with breast cancer is unique and understanding his or her needs (quality of life, long-term peace of mind, emotional well-being)is a large part of the treatment process.
Breast Cancer Surgery Options
The Breastlink surgical team is committed to working closely with patients to determine the breast cancer surgery option that best meets their needs and preferences. We believe it is essential for our patients to have confidence in the decision making process.
There is a range of breast cancer surgery options available to remove cancerous tissue. In large part due to the work of evidence-based research and the dedication of breast cancer advocates, a radical mastectomy is no longer the default surgical option. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with breast cancer your doctor may recommend one of the following breast cancer surgery procedures:
- Lumpectomy: a breast conservation procedure also known as a wide local excision or “partial” mastectomy. Radiation may be recommended after the procedure. This option is available to many early stage breast cancer cases.
- Mastectomy: a procedure to remove all breast tissue.
- Skin-sparing mastectomy: The envelope of skin around the breast is preserved so as to allow for immediate reconstruction.
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy: In addition to saving the envelope of skin around the breast, the nipple and areola can also be preserved in select patients who qualify for this procedure.
- Modified Radical Mastectomy: a procedure to remove all breast tissue and the axillary (underarm) lymph nodes.
- Radical Mastectomy: an extensive operation that removes all breast tissue, axillary lymph nodes and the pectoral muscles under the breast (chest wall).
- Lymph Node Surgery: the removal of one or more of lymph nodes located under the armpit.
- Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy: Removal of the first few lymph nodes that drain the breast by injecting a dye and/or a radioisotope to map these lymph nodes at time of surgery.
- Axillary Lymph Node Dissection: Removing an area of fat under the arm that contains multiple lymph nodes, “Levels I and II” are the standard groups of lymph nodes included.
- IORT (intraoperative radiation therapy): after a surgeon has removed a breast cancer tumor a concentrated dose of radiation is applied to the area before the operation is completed. The location and size of a breast cancer tumor are two major factors to determine if an IORT procedure is recommended.
- Breast Reconstruction: a plastic surgery option for women to rebuild the look and shape of their breast(s) after a breast cancer surgery.
This is not the complete list of options available to patients. Depending on the facts of their case or risk assessment profile additional procedures may be considered.
For instance, some women elect to have a prophylactic mastectomy. This is where women elect to remove all breast tissue without a breast cancer diagnosis. This is usually chosen by women who have tested positive for a BRCA I or BRCA II gene mutation. Women who have this genetic mutation have up to an 87 percent chance of developing breast cancer in the lifetime.
Breastlink Breast Care Centers
We believe it is essential to comprehensively address the nature of breast cancer. This includes how the disease affects a patient’s body, mind and spirit. Our medical team actively works with patients undergoing treatment to manage potential side effects, assist in maintaining dignity, encourage normal function and promote a better quality of life.
If you face a diagnosis of breast cancer and would like to consult with one of our surgeons about your breast cancer surgery options please contact us. Whether you need us now or later, we’re always here for you.
Orange – (714) 541-0101
Temecula Valley – (951) 894-7056
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