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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

  • Carla Villa Profile

    I have my first chemo this coming Thursday, I will have a long weekend but plan on returning to work. Does anyone else work through their chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • dorothy harder Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      If you are on the adramicin cytoxin,just as the first commenter, I gave myself 3 days to feel better. I would recommend working because it I

      Comment
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi Carla, do you know what drugs you will be on? I had my chemo treatments every other thursday. With my adriamycin/cytoxin treatments I took thursday(treatment day) and Friday off. I then had the weekend as well to start to feel better. I was well enough come Monday to go back to work - I...

      more

      Hi Carla, do you know what drugs you will be on? I had my chemo treatments every other thursday. With my adriamycin/cytoxin treatments I took thursday(treatment day) and Friday off. I then had the weekend as well to start to feel better. I was well enough come Monday to go back to work - I felt probably 75% better. It took until about Wednesday to feel almost 100%. With taxol I took the same days off, although I could have gone to work on Friday if I had to- taxol was not nearly as hard on my system. Everyone handles treatments differently, but if you stay on top of the nausea using your meds - zofran, etc- you will feeling better. I wish you the best!

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I am going in for Oncoplasty next week. I am trying to find out if they can put the medi port in while I am in surgery. How long does it take to have the port put in?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Betty Castillo Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My surgery was about 1.5 hrs. long. It was super easy.

      Comment
    • julie s Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I had my port put in as an outpatient procedure... The actual placement took all of 20 minutes!

      Comment
  • Bianca Larrea Profile

    I just started my chemo treatments. (my husband was delployed the day before) Does anyone know food support groups for breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 2 answers
    • Lysa Allison Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi Bianca, I would recommend you get involved in a church. You are going to need a lot of help and support in many ways. The church will be able to tell you where the food banks are in your area as well as other services you may need. The church will also be able to give you the spiritual and...

      more

      Hi Bianca, I would recommend you get involved in a church. You are going to need a lot of help and support in many ways. The church will be able to tell you where the food banks are in your area as well as other services you may need. The church will also be able to give you the spiritual and emotional support you will need. Remember that God loves you. Good luck to you!

      1 comment
    • Natalie Grant Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      What city are you in?

      1 comment
  • Ashley  Michaels  Profile

    My Mother has been diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma stageIIA. March 26th she will have a double mastectomy. How bad is the recovery process? I know everyone is different but I am so terrified for my mom. Any feed back will help. Thank you.

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    about 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Brandi Mixon Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      You are so right, everyone is different. My recovery was pretty easy and I feel like it was because I had so much help and support. I stayed one night in the hospital which I think is pretty common. Once she is home, make sure she follows the doctors instructions. She probably won't be able to...

      more

      You are so right, everyone is different. My recovery was pretty easy and I feel like it was because I had so much help and support. I stayed one night in the hospital which I think is pretty common. Once she is home, make sure she follows the doctors instructions. She probably won't be able to raise her arms very high for several weeks (elbows no higher than shoulders). Make sure that items that are high are brought down before the surgery. She may need help doing her hair. I also was not able to bend over for a while. She will probably have drainage tubes. These were the most uncomfortable part for me. Hopefully she won't have them for long. I also used a few small pillows when I would sleep. Make sure she stays up on her meds, don't let the pain get ahead of her. She will do fine! It is very scary but doable!!! Prayers for her and her family.

      1 comment
    • jo m Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Ashley, I had a bilateral mastectomy in sept 2017. I have a teen dauhter and a college age daughter and I know they were very concerned also. Once home from the hospital, I had 2 drains and my husband helped with those at first then I took over. I found loose button up clothes comfortable...

      more

      Ashley, I had a bilateral mastectomy in sept 2017. I have a teen dauhter and a college age daughter and I know they were very concerned also. Once home from the hospital, I had 2 drains and my husband helped with those at first then I took over. I found loose button up clothes comfortable because I wasn't supposed to lift my arms at first. I did have some pain , and took the prescribed medication. The hospital gave me tiny pillows which helped to put under the arms. It really helps having someone reach things in the high cabinets for you and encouraging you to do your arm exercises when the dr says you are ready. She is going to do fine. She is blessed to have a loving and caring daughter to help her recover.

      1 comment

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