The majority of breast cancer types are treated primarily by breast cancer surgery. Tumors can be removed through either a mastectomy or a lumpectomy. The patient could require more procedures to reconstruct their breast following excision or to check for cancer in their lymph nodes.
The patient’s medical team will nearly always advise surgery to remove the breast cancer, either before or after other forms of treatment. Breast cancer surgery stands as the foremost effective method for removing breast cancer when it is surgically feasible to do so. In cases when breast cancer has metastasized to other regions of the body, this treatment may not always be successful.
Surgery for breast cancer can be performed alone or in combination with other therapies such radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Breast cancer surgery may involve removing a singular tumor from the breast in some cases, while in others, the entirety of the breast may need to be removed to eradicate the cancer.
Although the main purpose of breast surgery for cancer is treatment, it can also be used for diagnostic or even cosmetic purposes. To check for indications of cancer spreading, they may have exploratory surgery. Following cancer therapy, the patient may potentially have breast reconstruction surgery. For individuals at a significantly elevated risk of breast cancer, breast cancer surgery might be considered as a viable option to lower the risk of developing breast cancer in the future.
The following surgical procedures are used to remove breast cancer:
Other surgical procedures for breast cancer may encompass:
The type and stage of the patient’s breast cancer, as well as their overall health and preferences, will all have a role in the type(s) of surgery that the healthcare provider recommends. Surgery could be all that is required for certain patients. It could only be a small part of a more comprehensive therapy strategy for others. Most individuals will have surgical procedures more than one time.
Cancer cell removal from the breast is the aim of breast cancer surgery. For individuals opting for breast reconstruction, they may undergo a procedure involving the placement of breast implants or the reconstruction of a breast using their own tissue (known as flap surgery) which can be performed concurrently or as a follow-up treatment.
The majority of breast cancer stages are treated by breast cancer surgery, including:
Although surgery for breast cancer is a safe procedure, there is a slight chance of risk, such as:
After a breast cancer diagnosis, the healthcare provider will schedule a consultation to discuss the patient’s surgical options. The treatment plan and the optimal timing for surgery will be based on the patient’s health and the stage of cancer. For early-stage breast cancer, surgery is usually the first-line treatment. Additionally, the patient can consider the timing and necessity of breast reconstruction surgery.
After talking with the healthcare provider, the breast cancer surgery will be customized to meet each patient’s needs. Any tissue that could contain cancer cells will be attempted to be removed by the surgeon. A portion of the breast, the entire breast, or both breasts may be removed in this way. Alongside the afflicted breast, there may also be an option to remove and dissect some or all of the axillary (underarm) lymph nodes.
If the patient opts for breast reconstruction, the surgeon may choose to perform the reconstruction either concurrently with or separately from the cancer-related procedure. To reconstruct the breast, additional incisions may be necessary, possibly involving tissue removal from other areas of the body. Alternatively, the patient may decide to delay breast reconstruction until after completing their cancer treatment.
The duration of surgery depends on the type of procedure, with a simple lumpectomy taking one to two hours, with or without a sentinel node biopsy. In contrast, a mastectomy that includes breast reconstruction or axillary lymph node dissection may require three to four hours of surgery. Following the procedure, the patient may need to spend one or more nights in the hospital.
A pathologist can be analyzing the lymph node biopsy results while the patient is recovering from surgery. Ensuring that every cancer cell in their body has been eliminated is important. Once the findings are in, they will talk with them about these and the next actions. Treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or further surgery may be necessary if they discover cancer in one or more lymph nodes.
Following surgery, patient should anticipate:
In few weeks following the procedure, patients may experience discomfort and limited range of motion in their arms and chest. Healthcare providers will prescribe medications and provide daily arm and shoulder exercises to be performed at home, crucial for preventing stiffness. Fatigue may persist for a while, and it may take several weeks to regain normal energy levels. Typically, after a month, most individuals can resume their regular activities.
Scarring is an inevitable outcome of any surgical procedure. The appearance of scars following breast surgery varies among individuals, influenced by the type of procedure, the surgeon’s incisions, and the healing process. Initially, they may appear red and raised, but over the course of few months, they tend to become flatter and paler in appearance. Surgeons performing reconstructive breast surgery make efforts to minimize the visibility of these scars.
Patients should expect a follow-up appointment with their healthcare provider within one to two weeks after the procedure. During this visit, the provider will assess the patient’s condition, discuss any test results, and plan the subsequent phases of their treatment. If any signs or symptoms of post-operative complications, such as severe swelling, fever, or cording, arise, it is essential to promptly seek medical attention from the healthcare provider.
+66 2066 8888