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Treatment

 
Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 3 - Surgery

The first step and most common form of treatment for breast cancer is surgery. This involves removing the tumor and getting clear the margins; the margin is the surrounding tissue that might be cancerous. The goal of surgery is to remove not only the tumor, but also enough of the margin to be able to test for the spread of the cancer.

Some people with Stage 2 or 3 cancer may receive chemotherapy first, which is known as “pre-operative “ or “neoadjuvant” chemotherapy. The goal is to shrink the tumor. By making it smaller, you may have the option of a breast-conserving surgery or lumpectomy.

Mastectomy
In the past, surgery often required removing the, entire breast, chest wall
and all axillary lymph nodes in a procedure called a radical mastectomy. While mastectomies are less common today, there are instances in which this surgery is the best option to treat the cancer.

The more common mastectomy procedures are:

- Simple Mastectomy, also known as total mastectomy, which requires removal of the breast, nipple,areola
and sentinel lymph node or nodes.

- Modified Radical Mastectomy, which requires removal of the
entire breast, nipple, areola
and axillary lymph nodes.

- Skin-Sparing Mastectomy, which requires removal of the, breast, nipple, areola and sentinel lymph node (or nodes) but not the breast skin.

If you are thinking about breast reconstruction, you should consult your medical team before the mastectomy. Even if you plan to have your reconstruction later, this is a way for you to learn about your options.

Related Questions

  • Thumb avatar default

    What is the common treatment for swollen ankles and feet after chemo.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      i've had it on and off since I ended treatment in March. No magic solution. I have taken the occasional Lasix and keep my feet propped up as much as possible. It has decreased, and should continue to do so, over time. But I have cankles (calf/ankles)!

      Comment
    • maria stuccio Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had feet/ankle swelling all through chemo and since my last treatment on 4/5. I use compression (support) hose to control the swelling when I'm going to be on my feet for a length of time. I found Lasix works if I take for longer than 1-2 days. Also try to keep elevated as much as possible....

      more

      I had feet/ankle swelling all through chemo and since my last treatment on 4/5. I use compression (support) hose to control the swelling when I'm going to be on my feet for a length of time. I found Lasix works if I take for longer than 1-2 days. Also try to keep elevated as much as possible. If they are really swollen...'toes above the nose'...it works!

      Comment
  • Morgan Moser Profile

    My Sentinel Node Surgery today went well. I will find out the results on Friday... the waiting game continues.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Thats great Morgan , you are through that step now on to the next. Just take one day at a time. We are all praying for you.

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Prayers for good news

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I've just had my second chemo treatment yesterday an I'm scheduled for a Bone Scan on Friday, I'm extremely claustrophobic and I'm having anxiety just thinking about it....I can't do it....I can't get in this machine...what do I do?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      A bit of Xanax helps. I know it is hard, I just finished treatment and have been through every machine! You have to force yourself to stay calm, think positive and focus on treatment, healing and getting rid of the cancer once and for all. Relaxation and meditation helps to. There are many apps...

      more

      A bit of Xanax helps. I know it is hard, I just finished treatment and have been through every machine! You have to force yourself to stay calm, think positive and focus on treatment, healing and getting rid of the cancer once and for all. Relaxation and meditation helps to. There are many apps for these as well ad websites. Just remember that you are not alone... You will get through this one step at a time.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      PLEASE, PLEASE, contact your doctor for some medication to help you get through this. Claustrophobia is such a common problem when having these kinds of tests. I also think it is enhansed because you are already fearful, and probably not feeling well. You need to start thinking "I need to get...

      more

      PLEASE, PLEASE, contact your doctor for some medication to help you get through this. Claustrophobia is such a common problem when having these kinds of tests. I also think it is enhansed because you are already fearful, and probably not feeling well. You need to start thinking "I need to get through this and I will". Every time a negative thought about that test pops into your head, replace it with a positive statement. You have to have this test and you will get through it. Talk to your doctor... you can get medication to help relax you to make it possible for this test to take place. BE SURE to have a friend drive you. Hang in there.... take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Shauna T Profile

    What should I expect after mastectomy (most likely bilateral) physically, emotionally, and as a "former" cancer patient assuming they get it all?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Dawn Goldberg Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I also was diagnosed with DCIS and then found out I was BRCA2 positive back in November. I had a bilateral mastectomy, expanders, and last month I got my implants. Just has ovaries out last week. It's a whole lot of different feelings rushing in. I have taken the 'be positive' route, although...

      more

      I also was diagnosed with DCIS and then found out I was BRCA2 positive back in November. I had a bilateral mastectomy, expanders, and last month I got my implants. Just has ovaries out last week. It's a whole lot of different feelings rushing in. I have taken the 'be positive' route, although I have days of feeling sorry for myself. You will be sore after surgery..take your pain meds! They help tremendously. Every step of reconstruction is worth it. I consider myself cancer free as of last month.

      4 comments
    • jo wisely Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      From a physical point of view, my recovery was much quicker than I expected, and I felt so well I kept getting in trouble for not resting enough. As for emotional, that is be ry individual I guess. I look in the mirror and see. Someone who is alive, and don't really care I am Boobless. But I am...

      more

      From a physical point of view, my recovery was much quicker than I expected, and I felt so well I kept getting in trouble for not resting enough. As for emotional, that is be ry individual I guess. I look in the mirror and see. Someone who is alive, and don't really care I am Boobless. But I am 51, it would be very different if I was say, 25 or 30. Good luck with it all.

      Comment

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