According to statistics from, 12 percent of women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Although facing the disease is a frightening perspective, recent advances in treatment and surgical options are helping to aid in the recovery process.

The Options

Surgical options depend on the stage of the cancer and if it has spread, the size and type of tumor, the patient’s overall health, and other contributing factors. There are two types of surgical options available: a mastectomy, or breast-conserving surgery.

During a mastectomy, an entire breast is surgically removed. Women who have the entire breast removed are often less likely to need radiation therapy. Breast reconstruction surgery can often be performed at the same time of a mastectomy or may be delayed until a later date. It is important to speak with your doctor if you are considering breast reconstruction surgery to learn about your options.

In breast-conserving surgery, only the part of the breast containing the cancer is removed. How much of the breast is removed during the surgery will depend on the size and location of the tumor. The ultimate goal of breast-conserving surgery is to only remove the affected area, but some of the surrounding tissue may be removed as well. This procedure is often a good option for those who are in the early stages of cancer. Women who undergo breast-conserving surgery may be able to keep most of their breast, but in many  cases will require radiation therapy.

Lymph Node Surgery

After surgery, a sentinel lymph node biopsy may be performed to find out if breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. This will help a surgeon narrow down the appropriate course of treatment following surgery. If the cancer has spread, an axillary lymph node dissection may be needed to remove cancerous lymph nodes.

At Premier Surgical Associates in Knoxville, we utilize a team approach for breast cancer surgery. . Patient care is provided by an expert team who work alongside each other and the patient every step of the way. We are inspired by our patients and determined to help. If you would like to talk about your options with one of our board certified surgeons, call 865-306-5775 or book an appointment online.