It is not always easy to find a surgeon that will not only take your medical needs into consideration but will help you to make some important decisions about which procedures you will need. When you have been diagnosed with breast cancer it can be one of the most frightening things in your life. Many things will flood your mind and you may for a time lose focus on what is important. But a good surgeon will help to keep you focused so that you can make the right choices.
Surgery is often needed to remove a breast tumour. Options for this include breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy. The breast can be reconstructed at the same time as surgery or later on. Surgery may also be used to check the lymph nodes under the arm for cancer spread. Options for this include a sentinel lymph node biopsy and lymph node dissection. Here are some of the options you may need to discuss with your surgeon:
Sometimes called a partial mastectomy, this type of surgery only removes a portion of the affected breast. The size of section to be removed will depend largely on the size and location of the tumour and whether or not radiation will be given after the surgery is completed. There are two different types of breast-conserving surgery, a lumpectomy will remove a small lump and a quadrantectomy removes a little more than the lumpectomy (usually about one-fourth). Each of these operations will probably require follow up treatments with either radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
With a mastectomy the entire breast will be removed and may include nearby tissues that may be compromised. There are several types of mastectomies including the simple or total mastectomy where the entire breast is removed and the skin-sparing mastectomy for women who are planning to have reconstructive surgery later on.
It is not an easy decision for a woman to make so when she is ready to find a surgeon it is strongly recommended that she search for one that can help her to make these decisions based on a wealth of knowledge about her condition and the best treatment for her. WebMD points out other factors to be considered when deciding on a surgery,
Surgery is often combined with additional treatments, known as adjuvant therapy, to destroy any remaining cancer cells. Sometimes the additional treatment may be given before surgery when the breast cancer has been found to have already spread widely.
All of these factors should be discussed thoroughly with your surgeon so that you are fully prepared for what will happen before, during, and after your surgery.
For more information, visit http://breastcancersurgery.com/