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Type Of Breast Cancer Surgery

What Are The Different Types Of Surgeries For Breast Cancer

What Types of Breast Cancer Surgery are There?

The two types of surgery used to treat breast cancer are mastectomy and lumpectomy. Additional surgeries for breast cancer may include lymph node removal and analysis and breast reconstruction surgery.


Mastectomy, or breast removal surgery, is the most common surgery for breast cancer. Thats because mastectomy treats both late-stage and early-stage breast cancers. In addition, some people with a high risk of developing breast cancer in the future choose prophylactic mastectomy as a preventative measure.

Types of mastectomy procedures include:

  • Total mastectomy: Removal of your entire breast, sparing your chest muscle beneath.
  • Double mastectomy: Removal of both breasts. This may be necessary if the cancer has already spread to both breasts, or it may be a preventative measure.
  • Skin-sparing or nipple-sparing mastectomy: Removal of all your breast tissue, but sparing your skin and, if possible, your nipple, to use to reconstruct your breast.
  • Modified radical mastectomy: Removal of your breast tissue and your underarm lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are often the first place that breast cancer spreads to.
  • Radical mastectomy: Removal of your breasts, underarm lymph nodes and chest muscles. This is a rare surgery, only necessary when breast cancer has infiltrated your chest muscles.


Types of lumpectomy procedures include:

Lymph node investigation

Lymph node procedures include:

Reconstructive breast surgery

Breast reconstruction methods include:

What Are Breast Cancer Causes And Risk Factors

Many women who develop breast cancer have no risk factors other than age and gender.

  • Gender is the biggest risk because breast cancer occurs mostly in women.
  • Age is another critical breast cancer risk factor. Breast cancer may occur at any age, though the risk of breast cancer increases with age. The average woman at 30 years of age has one chance in 280 of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years. This chance increases to one in 70 for a woman 40 years of age, and to one in 40 at 50 years of age. A 60-year-old woman has a one in 30 chance of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years.
  • White women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women in the U.S.
  • A woman with a personal history of cancer in one breast has a three- to fourfold greater risk of developing a new cancer in the other breast or in another part of the same breast. This refers to the risk for developing a new tumor and not a recurrence of the first cancer.

Genetic Causes of Breast Cancer

There is great interest in genes linked to breast cancer. About 5%-10% of breast cancers are believed to be hereditary, because of mutations, or changes, in certain genes that are passed along in families.

Hormonal Causes of Breast Cancer

Hormonal influences play a role in the development of breast cancer.

Lifestyle and Dietary Causes of Breast Cancer

Benign Breast Disease

Environmental Causes of Breast Cancer


What Should I Expect After Breast Surgery

Your healthcare provider will monitor you closely after surgery. Youll have gauze dressings and either a support bra or elastic bandage. These will minimize swelling and support your healing breasts. Youll get instructions and schedule a follow-up appointment. You may get a prescription for pain medication.

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Simple Or Total Mastectomy

Your doctor removes your entire breast, including the nipple, in this procedure. They donât remove your lymph nodes, small glands that are part of your immune system.

Youâre most likely to have this procedure when the cancer isnât in your lymph nodes, or if youâre having a mastectomy to lower your risk of getting breast cancer.

What Is The Recovery Time

Breast Reconstruction Techniques : The Best Breast Reconstruction ...

The recovery time is generally between one week and six weeks or longer and depends on the type of breast surgery you are having. After a lumpectomy, you may return to work after around two weeks. After a mastectomy, this will be longer, between four to six weeks. After breast reduction or augmentation surgery, you can return to work/school after about a week. You may be sore for weeks after breast surgery. It is important to discuss recovery time with your healthcare provider as this will depend on your case.

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How Is Breast Cancer Treated

Breast cancer is treated in several ways. It depends on the kind of breast cancer and how far it has spread.

Breast cancer is treated in several ways. It depends on the kind of breast cancer and how far it has spread. People with breast cancer often get more than one kind of treatment.

  • Surgery. An operation where doctors cut out cancer tissue.
  • Chemotherapy. Using special medicines to shrink or kill the cancer cells. The drugs can be pills you take or medicines given in your veins, or sometimes both.
  • Hormonal therapy. Blocks cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow.
  • Biological therapy. Works with your bodys immune system to help it fight cancer cells or to control side effects from other cancer treatments.
  • Radiation therapy. Using high-energy rays to kill the cancer cells.

Doctors from different specialties often work together to treat breast cancer. Surgeons are doctors who perform operations. Medical oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with medicine. Radiation oncologists are doctors who treat cancer with radiation.

For more information, visit the National Cancer Institutes Breast Cancer Treatment Option Overview.external icon This site can also help you find health care services.external icon

Saline Or Silicone Implants

This is an implant made of saline or silicone which is placed under the skin. There are a lot of factors involved in choosing an implant. You may need a temporary saline filled tissue expander first that is filled over time and then replaced with a permanent implant at a second stage. You might be able to have a permanent implant right away. Implants come in many shapes and sizes.

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Nursing Allied Health And Interprofessional Team Monitoring

Nurses must be aware of the potential complications of these procedures to properly monitor patients in the postoperative period. In particular, monitoring the incision for any hematoma or seroma formation to let the surgeon know of any complications that may occur. Also, if drains are present, monitoring the quality and quantity of output is essential.

How Breast Cancer Is Treated

Your Breast Cancer Surgery Program: Understanding Your Operation

In cancer care, doctors specializing in different areas of cancer treatmentsuch as surgery, radiation oncology, and medical oncologywork together with radiologists and pathologists to create a patients overall treatment plan that combines different types of treatments. This is called a multidisciplinary team. Cancer care teams include a variety of other health care professionals, such as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, oncology nurses, social workers, pharmacists, counselors, nutritionists, and others. For people older than 65, a geriatric oncologist or geriatrician may also be involved in their care. Ask the members of your treatment team who is the primary contact for questions about scheduling and treatment, who is in charge during different parts of treatment, how they communicate across teams, and whether there is 1 contact who can help with communication across specialties, such as a nurse navigator. This can change over time as your health care needs change.

A treatment plan is a summary of your cancer and the planned cancer treatment. It is meant to give basic information about your medical history to any doctors who will care for you during your lifetime. Before treatment begins, ask your doctor for a copy of your treatment plan. You can also provide your doctor with a copy of the ASCO Treatment Plan form to fill out.

Learn more about making treatment decisions.

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Mastectomy With Breast Reconstruction Surgery

You can have breast reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy, or anytime afterward. This type of surgery is done by a plastic surgeon with experience in breast reconstruction surgery. The surgeon uses an implant or tissue from another part of your body to create a breast-like shape that replaces the breast that was removed. If your nipple is removed, the surgeon may also make the form of a nipple and add a tattoo that looks like the areola .

There are two main types of breast reconstruction surgery, breast implant and tissue flap. See Breast Reconstruction after Mastectomy for more information.

Surgery Choices: Cindy, Theresa, Paula

Three women describe the type of surgery that they chose to treat their breast cancer.

Surgery And Drug Therapies

The choice of surgery does not affect whether you will need chemotherapy, hormone therapy, HER2-targeted therapy and/or other drug therapies. Drug therapies are given based on the characteristics of the tumor, not the type of surgery you have.

For example, whether or not you will need hormone therapy depends on hormone receptor status. Hormone receptor status is a biomarker.

Learn more about .

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How Should I Care For Myself Once Im Home

Youll have several tasks at home no matter what type of breast surgery you have. Right after your surgery, youll need to care for your breasts by changing the bandages, keeping the areas dry, and other tasks:

  • Continue wearing your support bra if this is recommended. It will help with pain and swelling. The dressings may need to be changed daily.
  • Clean the incision sites, but only under orders from your surgeon.
  • If your surgeon installed a drainage device then youll have to care for it. Fluids will move from the catheter at the site of the surgery and youll have to empty the tube. The amount of fluid will gradually lessen, and the color of it will change.
  • You may shower after your surgery and your healthcare provider will give you instructions as to the timing of this. It is not recommended that you bathe in a bathtub or swim after breast surgery for at least one month.

What Is Breast Cancer Surgery

Types of Breast Implants

If you have localized breast cancer, your healthcare team will almost always recommend surgery to remove it. Surgery is considered the primary treatment for breast cancer when it’s technically possible to remove the affected tissue.

Sometimes breast cancer surgery removes an individual tumor from your breast , and other times it may be necessary to remove your entire breast to remove the cancer. Breast surgery for cancer is primarily a treatment, but it can also be diagnostic and even cosmetic. Sometimes surgery is exploratory to look for signs of cancer spreading. Sometimes it involves reconstructing your breast after a mastectomy.

The type of surgery that your healthcare team recommends for you will depend on many individual factors, including the type of cancer you have, how advanced it is, your general health and your personal preferences. Depending on your condition, surgery may be only a piece of your overall treatment plan, or it may be the only treatment you need.

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Types Of Breast Cancer We Treat

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma cancer began in the milk ducts and invades the walls of the duct to spread into lymph nodes and other areas of the body. As the most common form of breast cancer effective treatment varies on current treatments and overall health of the immune system.

IDC Type: Tubular Carcinoma of the Breast is a subtype of invasive ductal carcinoma which is often a less aggressive type of breast cancer that responds well to conventional treatment however following up with alternative cancer treatment to undo the damage of chemotherapy and build up the immune system is critical to prevent recurrence.

IDC Type: Medullary Carcinoma of the Breast is a rare subtype of IDC, often a less aggressive type of cancer which only spreads to the lymph nodes. Medullary Carcinoma typically responds well to conventional treatment however treatment with alternative cancer modalities is necessary to address the damage from chemotherapy allowing a strengthening of the immune system to prevent recurrence.

IDC Type: Mucinous Carcinoma of the Breast, also called Colloid Carcinoma is a rare subtype of IDC, found inside the mucin in mucus around the breast and is often a less aggressive type of breast cancer that responds well to conventional treatment. However, it is necessary to follow-up with alternative cancer treatment to address the harm of chemotherapy and strengthen the immune system to prevent recurrence.

Lumpectomy Or Other Breast

Breast-sparing surgery means the surgeon removes only the DCIS or cancer, some normal tissue around it, and maybe one or more lymph nodes from under your arm. Breast-sparing surgery usually allows your breast to look much like it did before surgery.

After breast-sparing surgery, you might also receive radiation therapy. The main goal of this treatment is to keep cancer from coming back in the same breast. Some people will also need chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or targeted therapy.

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Breast Cancer: Types Of Treatment

Have questions about breast cancer? Ask here.

ON THIS PAGE: You will learn about the different types of treatments doctors use for people with breast cancer. Use the menu to see other pages.

This section explains the types of treatments, also known as therapies, that are the standard of care for early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer. Standard of care means the best treatments known. When making treatment plan decisions, you are encouraged to discuss with your doctor whether clinical trials are an option. A clinical trial is a research study that tests a new approach to treatment. Doctors learn through clinical trials whether a new treatment is safe, effective, and possibly better than the standard treatment. Clinical trials can test a new drug and how often it should be given, a new combination of standard treatments, or new doses of standard drugs or other treatments. Some clinical trials also test giving less drug or radiation treatment or doing less extensive surgery than what is usually done as the standard of care. Clinical trials are an option for all stages of cancer. Your doctor can help you consider all your treatment options. Learn more about clinical trials in the About Clinical Trials and Latest Research sections of this guide.

Five Ways To Prepare For A Mastectomyemotionally And Physically

Your Breast Cancer Surgery Program: Understanding Your Operation

In 2015, Beth W. was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She embarked on a nine-month treatment journey of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® . One question she gets the most from other patients is how to prepare for a mastectomy. Here are the five ways she says she prepared for the procedure.

Breast cancer treatment: The care you need is one call away

Your multidisciplinary team will work with you to develop a personalized plan to treat your breast cancer in a way that fits your individual needs and goals.

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Checking Lymph Nodes Before Surgery

If you have invasive breast cancer, your treatment team will want to check if any of the lymph nodes under the arm contain cancer cells. This helps them decide whether youll benefit from any additional treatment after surgery.

Usually an ultrasound scan of the underarm is done before surgery to assess the lymph nodes.

If this appears abnormal, youll have a fine needle aspiration or a core biopsy to see if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

  • FNA uses a fine needle and syringe to take a sample of cells to be looked at under a microscope.
  • Core biopsy uses a hollow needle to take a sample of tissue to be looked at under a microscope.

Who Can Have Breast

Breast-conserving surgery is a good option for many women with early-stage cancers. The main advantage is that a woman keeps most of her breast. However, most women will also need radiation therapy, given by a radiation oncologist . Women who have their entire breast removed for early-stage cancers are less likely to need radiation, but they may be referred to a radiation oncologistfor evaluation because each patients cancer is unique.

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Laura Takes Charge Of Her High Risk For Breast Cancer

When Laura, mother of two, felt a lump in her breast, she assumed her milk ducts were clogged. She was about to stop breastfeeding her infant son and knew mastitis was often a side effect. But the lump didnt go away. Two months later, she visited her gynecologist, who immediately sent her to Dr. Peter Naruns at El Camino Health for a biopsy.

In January 2017, Laura received a diagnosis of stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma that involved several lymph nodes. She was also found to be BRCA2 positive at very high risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

I didnt think at all about cancer, recalls Laura. I thought it was just a clogged milk duct. There was no pain so I thought it would go away.

After the jolting diagnosis, things moved really fast. Dr. Naruns referred her to top oncologist, Dr. Shane Dormady, and his renowned team at El Camino Health. Laura and Dr. Dormady agreed on an aggressive treatment based on her age and stage. It would include chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, radiation, menopausal hormone therapy, and eventually, when Laura is ready, she will undergo surgical menopause.

As Laura recalls, Dr. Dormady said, So that we have the best chance of beating this, Im going to throw it all at you, and we started with chemo right away to shrink the tumor.


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