Do Breasts Need To Be Removed?
The first knee jerk reaction when you hear the diagnosis of cancer from that phone call is, “That’s it. I want both my breasts removed. I want to get rid of this. I don’t want this cancer ever to come back.” That’s not necessarily the case. We have found through studies and data that breast conservative therapy, which is a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy, it’s the same thing. And, addition of radiation can treat this cancer and have the same prognosis and long-term survivability as if you had a mastectomy, which is complete removal of the breast.
When you get the lumpectomy, the surgeon will go in in a strategically placed incision. A lot of surgeons now are starting to do oncoplastic or hidden scar surgery where we can hide scars in the inframammary fold under your arm or around your nipple. So cosmetically, you will look very good with the incisions that are placed onto your breast. The surgeon will go in and depending on the size of your tumor, will have an idea of how much tissue they’re going to take from your breast. If a tumor is anywhere between zero or 0.1 millimeters and five centimeters, those patients are good candidates for breast conservative therapy.
One of the other factors that we do in determining whether or not you’re a candidate for that is also the breast size to tumor ratio, because we want you to look good. At the end of the day, although this is a cancer surgery, you’re still a woman who wants to continue to be a woman, and we want you to have the best outcome cosmetically as well as oncologically.
1. Breast conservative therapy and radiation can treat cancer and have the same prognosis and long-term survivability as a mastectomy, which is complete removal of the breast.
2. You may be a candidate for breast conservative therapy if your tumor is anywhere between zero or 0.1 millimeters and five centimeters.
3. One of the other factors to determine if you are a candidate is the breast size to tumor ratio.