The main goal of Breast Cancer Surgery is to remove the cancer tumour and the nearby margin. The tissues near the tumour are removed because there is a chance of them being cancerous as well as to prevent the cancer from reoccurring.
Other than this, breast cancer surgery is also performed to:
- Prevent the cancer before it occurs.
- Diagnose of the tumour – to determine whether it is malignant or benign.
- Determine the stage of the cancer.
- Debulk – when removal of the whole tumour is not possible.
- Relieve symptoms or side effects.
There are several types of Breast Cancer Surgery depending upon the size of the tumour and the extent of the disease.
Lumpectomy: In lumpectomy, only the tumour and some of the nearby margin is removed. Sometimes, even the lymph nodes under the armpits are removed. In this surgery, the breast is conserved to the extent possible. It is ideal for women who have small breasts or in whom cancer is detected at a very early stage. This surgery usually requires radiation therapy afterwards.
Mastectomy: Mastectomy is of two types-
Partial Mastectomy: In this procedure, more tissue is removed than in lumpectomy. The tumour and the healthy tissue around it are also removed.
Total Mastectomy: In total mastectomy, the entire breast is removed, including the nipple, areola, and sentinel lymph nodes. This surgery eliminates the chances of the cancer reoccurring.
Modified Radical Mastectomy: In this surgery, the whole breast is removed along with some lymph nodes in the armpit. Only the chest muscles are not removed.
Axillary LN dissection: This surgery is performed to remove the axillary nodes from the underarms to determine whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.