Breast cancer is common in women affecting a large population globally. When caught early, several conservative and less invasive treatment options may be employed to manage the condition and can sometimes be effective. However, surgery can end up becoming a suitable alternative to eliminate cancer. Dr. Peter K. Hon and the breast surgery specialists at Surgical Specialists of NY, can diagnose your condition to help you understand if surgery is the best option for you. More information about breast cancer surgery is provided herein.
Why You Might Need Surgery
Breast surgery can be recommended for various reasons depending on the stage and severity of your cancer. Your doctor may recommend surgery to remove as much cancer as possible, determine whether cancer has spread to your lymph nodes, and restore your breast’s shape after the cancer is removed. Additionally, your doctor may recommend surgery to relieve some symptoms of your condition, mainly if the surgery is at an advanced stage.
Note that your breast’s features and your medical history can affect the choice of the operation you can receive. Therefore, talk about the options you have and provide accurate information about your medical history.
Procedure to Remove Breast Cancer
Depending on the stage of your breast cancer, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove it. Generally, they might recommend breast-conserving surgery or a mastectomy. Breast-conserving surgery is also known as segmental mastectomy, partial mastectomy, quadrantectomy, or lumpectomy. It involves removing only the cancerous part of your breast. It aims at eliminating cancer and some tissues surrounding it depending on the size and location of the tumor.
On the other hand, mastectomy involves removing the entire breast, including the breast tissues and rarely other neighboring tissues. One or both breasts may be removed depending on the severity of your condition.
Choosing the Type of Surgery
After evaluating your complications, your doctor will help you understand if breast-conserving surgery can help you or it will be a mastectomy. If your cancer is in an early stage, you have a high chance of choosing between the two. But when the tumor is in an advanced stage or is large, you might not have much of a choice. The benefit of breast-conserving surgery is that you will keep most of your breasts. However, you might still need radiation, unlike after a mastectomy, where you are less likely to require the radiation.
While many women may fear that having a less extensive surgery may increase their chances of cancer recurrence, research shows that the survival rate after breast-conserving surgery and accompanied with radiation is the same as having a mastectomy.
Breast Removing Lymph Nodes
Your doctor may recommend surgery to evaluate if cancer has affected your lymph nodes. This will involve removing some of the nodes to be taken to the lab for examination and analysis. Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) and axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) are the two primary surgeries to remove lymph nodes. The type recommended depends on the number of lymph nodes to be removed.
This is a procedure aimed at restoring the breast appearance mainly after a mastectomy. It involves rebuilding the breast mound or grafting fat, particularly after breast-conserving surgery. Several reconstructive surgeries are depending on your personal preferences and medical situation. Be sure to discuss with your doctor the options available for you.
Contact the Surgical Specialists of NY, team to learn more about surgery for breast cancer. Your provider will help you make informed decisions to manage your condition. Also, if you have suspicious symptoms, your provider will diagnose your condition as early as possible, as the earlier the cancer is caught, the better.