What’s The Difference Between a Lumpectomy and a Mastectomy?

What’s The Difference Between a Lumpectomy and a Mastectomy-According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 240,00 new cases of invasive breast cancer were  diagnosed in 2015. Because breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women following lung cancer, knowing your treatment options is crucial to recovery. The Premier Surgical Associates physicians know how important it is to offer individualized treatment options for our breast cancer patients, based on the latest technological advances in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Under certain circumstances, people with breast cancer may have the opportunity to choose between total removal of a breast (mastectomy) or breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy). A lumpectomy may be followed by radiation depending on the results of the patient’s pathology report.

A Lumpectomy is also known as breast-conserving surgery or a partial mastectomy. The goal of this procedure is to remove only the part of the breast containing the cancerous tumor and some surrounding normal tissue. The amount of the breast removed is dependent upon the size and location of the tumor.

A Mastectomy may be performed in one of two ways. 1) A Simple Mastectomy removes the entire breast, including the nipple and 2) A Skin-Sparing Mastectomy removes most of the skin but the nipple and areola are left, allowing for a more immediate reconstruction.

There is no clear-cut right or wrong approach to treatment options. A patient’s preference, as well as their overall health, is taken into account. The nonprofit organization breastcancer.org has some valuable questions to consider when faced with the choice of breast cancer surgery, such as “Do you want your breasts to match as much as possible in size,” and “How anxious will you be about breast cancer coming back?”

Whether you opt for lumpectomy or mastectomy, your physician will most likely perform lymph node surgery at the same time to determine if the cancer has spread. The presence of cancer cells in the lymph nodes, or lack thereof, will help determine treatment post surgery.

Your schedule for the day of your procedure will vary depending on the treatment plan designed specifically for you. For a mastectomy you can expect to stay overnight in the hospital. A partial mastectomy is usually done as an outpatient surgery and you can expect to spend 5 to 6 hours at the medical facility. Regardless, you will be given specific instructions for your recovery at discharge and will schedule a follow up with your surgeon one-week post surgery.

At Premier Surgical, we utilize a team approach for breast cancer treatment. Our specialty team of experts conferences weekly to determine the best and most comprehensive ongoing plan for each patient’s care. This multidisciplinary method of care affords us the opportunity to partner with these well-respected health care centers:

  • Thompson Cancer Survival Center
  • Parkwest Comprehensive Breast Center
  • Tennova Women’s Center

Learn more about our specialty team of experts and your options for breast cancer surgery with the Premier Surgical Associate physicians at our website.

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