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Treatment

 
Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 5 - Breast Tissue Conservation Surgeries

If the cancer is detected early enough, there are options that will remove the cancer while preserving breast tissue. The common types are the lumpectomy (most often followed by breast radiation treatments) and the partial mastectomy.

Lumpectomy
A lumpectomy usually removes the least amount of breast tissue. The surgeon removes the cancer and a small portion of the surrounding tissue, but not the breast itself. Even though the lumpectomy is the least invasive breast cancer surgery, it can still be very effective, and further surgery may not be needed.

Partial Mastectomy
A partial mastectomy requires the surgeon to remove a larger portion of the breast than in the lumpectomy — perhaps a whole segment or quadrant of tissue — in order to eliminate the cancer. Occasionally, the surgeon will remove some of the lining over the chest muscles as well.

Related Questions

  • Thumb avatar default

    I am scheduling my biopsy. What should I know to ask a breast surgeon? Don't want to be awake during biopsy. Can they see what it is, and just do either Lumpectomy or Masectomy? Hubby not helpful, and no friends in the area....

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi there,

      First, I'm sorry you don't have the support you'd like from your husband. We all understand your fear and anxiety -- just know that there are a bunch of women who are here to give you the support you need.

      Second, you don't say what kind of biopsy you're having, but I suspect it...

      more

      Hi there,

      First, I'm sorry you don't have the support you'd like from your husband. We all understand your fear and anxiety -- just know that there are a bunch of women who are here to give you the support you need.

      Second, you don't say what kind of biopsy you're having, but I suspect it involves minor surgery. You don't really have to be awake, but you don't need general anesthesia either. What they can do is give you what they call "IV sedation" which really relaxes you. They may also throw some stuff in there so you don't remember the procedure at all. They will definitely make the entire biopsy area numb so you won't feel any pain. the biopsy doesn't take very long -- putting you under general anesthesia would probably take longer!

      Third, a diagnosis isn't a one-step process. We ALL want to know right away. A breast surgeon will have an idea once he/she sees the lump. But in my experience they don't usually do frozen sections (a quick look by a pathologist) during or immediately after a biopsy. They send the tissue to the pathologist so he/she can look at it carefully and make a proper diagnosis.

      If it's cancer, the doctor will want to talk to you about what type of cancer it is, along with a number of other things. Most importantly, he/she will discuss options with you. Ultimately it will be your decision, but as long as your doctor is a BOARD CERTIFIED surgeon who likely specializes in breast surgery, he/she will steer you in the right direction.

      Best of luck to you. Keep us posted!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Anonymous,
      There are decisions to be made from what is found by doing the biopsy. SInce you have not had one, a needle biopsy is not a "for sure" having breast cancer. Needle biopsy's are done awake. As awful as it sounds, it is a quick procedure and many times the doctor doing the biopsy...

      more

      Anonymous,
      There are decisions to be made from what is found by doing the biopsy. SInce you have not had one, a needle biopsy is not a "for sure" having breast cancer. Needle biopsy's are done awake. As awful as it sounds, it is a quick procedure and many times the doctor doing the biopsy has some information to share. A small area of the breast is numbed, and the needle used to take the sample, doesn't hurt, you just feel pressure. Again.... just because you are having a biopsy, certainly does not mean you have breast cancer. So many of my friends have had biopsy's and of all of them, I am the only one who turned up with breast cancer. Please take one thing at a time. If you have not had a biopsy and actually been told you have breast cancer assume you DON'T until the biopsy results are back. In the world of breast cancer.... there are a lot of testing, and decision making that goes into it even before you have surgery. One step at a time....
      You have the biopsy, in about a week, you get the results. Most of the time, there is nothing wrong and you just go on with your life. If you do have breast cancer, you will have a series of testing before you have surgery. After surgery, you will hear about the rest of your treatment. Every woman is treated as an individual. A diagnosis of breast cancer is NOT a death sentence! We, who have had breast cancer, will be your friends, and sisters in this journey. BUT FIRST.... you have to be diagnosed with breast cancer!
      Hang in there darlin' you may not join our Ya-Ya Sisterhood until you hear those lousy words.... "You have breast cancer...." Here is wishing you WON'T be one of the members!
      Hugs and caring, Sharon

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    lumpectomy done 9/27/13 how long for radiation treatments? out of state.i asked my dr. to forward all my information to my dr. here , which was done . i have called my doctors office several times,he hasn't called me back .what should i do?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • elma p. Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      My wait was also over 6 weeks before rads started. Take this time to rest and get your strength back. I also started moisturizing my breast area to make sure the skin was in good shape too. Don't know if it made a difference, but I made it through 30 treatments only slightly pink and no...

      more

      My wait was also over 6 weeks before rads started. Take this time to rest and get your strength back. I also started moisturizing my breast area to make sure the skin was in good shape too. Don't know if it made a difference, but I made it through 30 treatments only slightly pink and no irritations. Good luck to you!

      Comment
    • sharon s Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I waited a month post chemo

      Comment
  • anonymous Profile
  • Jennifer Jackson Profile

    Is it normal to have post-lumpectomy scarring?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 3 answers
    • Jennifer Jackson Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was trying to research this topic...not really ask a specific question. Sorry!

      Comment
    • Liz B Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I'm a physical therapist who specializes in breast cancer rehabilitation. It's absolutely normal to have a deep, firm area of thick scar tissue at a lumpectomy site (sometimes ppl describe it as feeling like a "lump of clay" in the breast). The good news is that typically it can be massaged and...

      more

      I'm a physical therapist who specializes in breast cancer rehabilitation. It's absolutely normal to have a deep, firm area of thick scar tissue at a lumpectomy site (sometimes ppl describe it as feeling like a "lump of clay" in the breast). The good news is that typically it can be massaged and will become smaller and much softer with time. Make sure to wait at least 8 weeks after surgery and get an okay from your surgeon, then you can start massaging.

      Comment

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