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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

  • Patricia Stoop Profile

    Does this numbness ever go away? The numbness along with double mastectomy scars makes me feel like I've been walloped with a 2 x 4.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had my mastectomy six months ago and I would say I have about 90 percent of feeling back so it will get better with time. Good luck

      Comment
    • Debbie Carss Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Mine was 2010 and I got most feeling back on my right side some spots are still numb. I was told after two years if u don't get it back by then forget it. Not me I beg to defer I do everything I can find to get this back. Good luck never give up.

      Comment
  • Patricia Lindley Profile

    Should I get a lumpectomy or mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 1 answer
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I went in sugery expecting a lumpwctomy and ended up with a 7.3 cc lump and margins followed by 6 round of chemo and 35 radiation trearment an 5 uear of tamoxifem. 1/4 of my breast is gone the partial was my choice I'm happy with my choicr.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I was just diagnosed with stage lll and I'm in process of completing all my labs and test . I was told about a cap you can wear after treatment to keep from losing hair. Has any one used this ? If so how was it? Side effects?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I also had my hairdresser friend shave my long hair when it started falling out. I got a synthetic wig and it looked just like my hair. It was light and didn't really bother me.I just wasn't one of those women that could walk around bald, although I give them credit. I hadnt heard much bout the...

      more

      I also had my hairdresser friend shave my long hair when it started falling out. I got a synthetic wig and it looked just like my hair. It was light and didn't really bother me.I just wasn't one of those women that could walk around bald, although I give them credit. I hadnt heard much bout the cold cap. I just think, no matter what you do, certain chemos make you lose hair, just a part of the process.Now almost two years after dx my hair has grown back, still short, but I love it n it is way healthier. You will get through this. Have faith

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Earlier, we had a bit of a discussion about the cold cap. You must ask your oncologist about it as there is some talk about it interferring with the chemotherapy. SInce chemo. attacks fast growing cells, which hair is, the cold cap keep the chemotherapy from reaching the scalp. Your cancer...

      more

      Earlier, we had a bit of a discussion about the cold cap. You must ask your oncologist about it as there is some talk about it interferring with the chemotherapy. SInce chemo. attacks fast growing cells, which hair is, the cold cap keep the chemotherapy from reaching the scalp. Your cancer could hide out in that tissue. Hopefully, some others will come forth with more information about the pluses and minuses of the cold cap. Last work always comes from your oncologist. Remember.... Bald, is beautiful! Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Cynthia Flexen Profile

    I dont know whether I should have a Bilateral mastectomy or just single mastectomy? I have DCIS in my left breast. I do not have the BRCA1 or 2 gene so that is why I dont know what to do??? Any advice please?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 0 Patient
    about 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Cynthia, have you spoken to your Breast Surgeon about their opinion? That's very good news you don't have either of the BRACA genes. I will have my test performed this week. That's a tough decision, whether to remove both breasts. I have Stage IIIc IDC. It's a later stage plus my...

      more

      Hi Cynthia, have you spoken to your Breast Surgeon about their opinion? That's very good news you don't have either of the BRACA genes. I will have my test performed this week. That's a tough decision, whether to remove both breasts. I have Stage IIIc IDC. It's a later stage plus my non-cancerous breast has several calcifications and a fluid filled cyst. Trouble brewing there. So I've chosen to have both removed. It's such a personal choice I can only relate my story to you. A good medical site to go to with fact based research is breastcancer.org. Or the book "Dr Susan Love's Breast Book". both has so much helpful info. Thinking of you on your journey,

      Diana

      2 comments
    • Surf  Momma Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I just had a bilateral mastectomy one week ago. I have cancer in one breast only. I choose a bilateral because it made more sense to me to have two breasts that could look as similar as could be.

      Comment

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