loading... close

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

  • judith rowley Profile

    I just had my expanders taken out on Sept 3rd and my implants put in. I am already on my feet and barely have any pain and it's only been 6 days. so happy! hope this helps someone who is worried about recovery.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Mimi Carroll Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Happy dance for you! And thank you for ousting to help others see that they don't need to worry so much!!!

      Comment
    • Becky N Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Yay! A happy story for once! Ditto on the happy dance!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I am 42 ,with IDC,stage2A,bilateral mastectomy 2 weeks ago.Doctors said I need chemo .please say my prognosis

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Mimi Carroll Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      .
      If it is low grade and not In your nodes you will be fine.. Ask this question to your doctor for best answer. .

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      We can't give you a prognosis because it is asking us to predict the future. You have an EXCELLENT prognosis! The type of cancer you have is the most common type and found in 80% of breast cancer's diagnosed. My cancer was the same, I was stage 2B with 1 node involved. After the radiologist...

      more

      We can't give you a prognosis because it is asking us to predict the future. You have an EXCELLENT prognosis! The type of cancer you have is the most common type and found in 80% of breast cancer's diagnosed. My cancer was the same, I was stage 2B with 1 node involved. After the radiologist laughed when I asked if "I was going to die.?" I pretty much put that thought out of my head and planned to live, instead. I figured, I would be treated and go on with my life. That was 6 years ago and I am still here. In an odd sort of way, breast cancer makes your life much more precious. You come out of treatment a much stronger person, and with a love and appreciation for your life. Don't ruin your life by thinking about death.... think about the life ahead for you. Even women who have been diagnosed at a later stage continue to live. We all die, but consider you probably won't die from this breast cancer. Just because you are diagnosed with breast cancer doesn't mean you have received a death sentence.... thankfully, not in this day and age. Chemo isn't the most fun but it is going after what remaining cancer cells may be floating around your system. You will do fine, you will live and your death in NOT looming anytime soon. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Francoise  Armand Profile

    Is chemotherapy always part of breast cancer treatment??

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      No chemo is not always used. I had a bilateral mastectomy so I didn't have to have radiation and when it came to chemo it was really my choice. I chose not to have it because the oncologist advised me that the small amount of benefit I would get from the chemo would not justify the effects of the...

      more

      No chemo is not always used. I had a bilateral mastectomy so I didn't have to have radiation and when it came to chemo it was really my choice. I chose not to have it because the oncologist advised me that the small amount of benefit I would get from the chemo would not justify the effects of the chemo. I consider myself to be very lucky. I only have the rest of my reconstruction and 5 years of hormone treatment to go through. I hope I have made the right decision, only time will tell.

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      No not always. It depends on so many different things. Cancer treatment is so specialized now. There are a number of factors involved.

      Comment
  • Kim Curry Profile

    When should you speak to a surgeon/plastic surgeon? My last chemo treatment is in two weeks.

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      It is never too early to talk to a plastic surgeon. We use to advise our patients to talk to a plastic surgeon when first diagnosed do you know what all your options are

      Comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      I mean so you know what all your options are

      Comment

Educational Video

Personal Story

Related Topics

Looking for another topic?
Use the search box in the top right.

Footer 1

An Early Detection Plan (EDP) significantly increases the chances of surviving breast cancer.

spread the word