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With advancements in medical technology and surgical techniques, more breast cancer treatment options are available than ever before. One such option is breast conserving surgery, which removes the cancerous tissue while preserving as much of the breast as possible. This procedure is an option for some breast cancers however, a mastectomy may still be necessary for certain patients to cure the disease.
This blog post will answer 5 frequently asked questions about breast conserving surgery to help you better understand this approach.
1. What Is Breast Conserving Surgery?
Conserving surgery involves the removal of the cancerous lump or tumor along with a small amount of healthy tissue surrounding it. The goal of the surgery is to remove the cancer while preserving the appearance and function of the breast. Radiation therapy often follows the procedure to ensure that any remaining cancer cells are eradicated.
2. What’s the Difference Between Breast Sparing Surgery and Mastectomy?
The 2 surgeries take different approaches to treating breast cancer. While breast conserving surgery aims to remove the cancer while preserving the breast, mastectomy involves the complete removal of the breast tissue. The necessary procedure option is typically dictated by the cancer present, and your breast cancer surgeon will help determine what will be the best course of treatment.
3. What Are the Types of Breast Conserving Surgery?
There are 2 main types of breast conserving surgery: lumpectomy and oncoplastic surgery.
Lumpectomy: In a lumpectomy, the surgeon removes the cancerous tumor along with a margin of healthy tissue around it. The amount of tissue removed depends on the size and location of the tumor.
Oncoplastic Surgery: For larger tumors, oncoplastic breast reduction surgery may be performed. A quadrantectomy, for example, removes one-quarter of the breast, and the more extensive segmental mastectomy removes more tissue as well as the lining over the chest muscles. Your surgeon can explain in more detail why these variations are necessary. Oncoplastic breast reduction surgery combines the principles of cancer removal with plastic surgery techniques to create a smaller breast from healthy tissues and maintain an aesthetically pleasing breast shape.
4. Is There a Difference in the Treatment Outcome?
Both conserving surgery and mastectomy are effective treatment options for breast cancer. Numerous studies have shown no significant difference in long-term survival rates between the 2 procedures.
5. Who Is a Candidate for Breast Conserving Surgery?
Breast sparing surgery is typically recommended for patients with early-stage breast cancer, where the tumor is small and has not spread to other parts of the body. Patients with larger tumors may still be able to preserve their breast tissue if plastic surgery techniques to reconfigure the breast are utilized (oncoplastic surgery). However, not all patients may be suitable candidates for this procedure.
Factors that may affect eligibility include the size and location of the tumor, the presence of multiple tumors, the size of the breast, and the patient’s overall health.
To determine if you’re a candidate for breast conserving surgery, your health care team will consider various factors and conduct a thorough evaluation. This may involve imaging tests such as mammograms, ultrasound, or MRI scans to assess the size and extent of the tumor. A biopsy may also be performed to determine if the tumor is cancerous. Based on these findings, your health care team will discuss the most appropriate treatment options for you.
Breast Care at Bedford Breast Center
At Bedford Breast Center, our team of experienced breast surgeons specializes in minimally invasive lumpectomy and innovative oncoplastic surgery techniques such as the Goldilocks Mastectomy and SWIM Mastectomy.
We understand the importance of preserving both your physical and emotional well-being throughout treatment. Our surgeons work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that considers your unique circumstances.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer or are concerned about a breast abnormality, we encourage you to call our Beverly Hills, CA, office today at (310) 278-8590 or request a consultation online with our experienced breast cancer surgeons.