There are multiple ways to treat breast cancer that has spread or recurred after initial treatment. These include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, and more. However, when it comes to surgical treatment options, there are several types of procedures you can have to remove the cancer.
Dr. Garvit Chitkara specializes in breast cancer surgeries in Mumbai, and is well renowned for his work as a surgeon. He has many research publications to his credit and numerous surgeries carried out successfully speak for his work.
Dr. Garvit explains here how and why a doctor recommends a particular surgery.
There are many different surgical procedures used to treat breast cancer, each of which is used in specific situations with certain subtypes of the disease. While no two patients will respond similarly to any single surgery, having all the different treatment options available allows for a more bespoke approach.
Types of Breast Cancer Surgeries:
There are three main types of breast cancer surgeries: Lumpectomy (also known as wide excision), mastectomy, and segmental resection. Each type of procedure is tailored toward a specific type of breast cancer and its location in the body.
Let’s take a closer look at these three main surgical approaches and what they involve:
Lumpectomy (also known as wide excision)
A lumpectomy is an excisional breast surgery that removes the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue. It’s typically recommended for patients who have a single, small tumor in one breast. Lumpectomy is a less invasive approach than other breast surgery options. Depending on the location of the tumor and the aggressiveness of the cancer, a lumpectomy can be performed as an outpatient procedure or as a short hospital stay. The procedure can be done in a number of ways. The most common approach is an “axillary tailoring” method, where the breast surgeon places a small incision under the arm to remove the cancer. The surgeon then removes a small amount of tissue from the breast to get rid of the tumor and bring the edges of the incision together.
A mastectomy is a surgical removal of the breast and surrounding tissue. Mastectomy is used to both treat and prevent breast cancer recurrences, especially in cases where the cancer is too extensive or has spread beyond the breast. There are different types of mastectomies, including the following: Partial mastectomy: Partial mastectomy involves removing the entire breast and a small amount of surrounding tissue.
Modified radical mastectomy: Modified radical mastectomy is similar to a partial mastectomy except that it also includes removal of the underlying muscles of the chest wall. Radical mastectomy: Radical mastectomy removes the entire breast, underlying breast tissue, the chest wall muscles below the breast, and the lymph nodes in the armpit.
Mastectomy with Breast Reconstruction: Some patients choose mastectomy with breast reconstruction, which is a combination of the above techniques. It’s important to note that mastectomy does not affect your ability to breastfeed. However, mastectomy will leave you with no breast tissue and therefore no ability to make breast milk.
- Partial Breast Excision
A partial breast excision (also called segmental resection, segmentectomy, or lumpectomy with segmental mastectomy) removes a single section of breast tissue, including the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue. This can be an effective treatment for some types of breast cancer and is often chosen when the cancer is in a single portion of the breast. A partial breast excision can be done at the same time as a lumpectomy, as a separate procedure, or as part of a mastectomy. Partial breast excision can often be done as an outpatient procedure.
- Total Breast Excision
A total breast excision removes the entire breast, including breast tissue and the underlying muscles of the chest wall. Total breast excision is often used when the cancer has progressed to the point where it has reached the chest wall. Total breast excision is usually only performed as part of a mastectomy, and is sometimes recommended when the cancer has metastasized (spread) to the lymph nodes in the armpit.
Sentinel Node Biopsy
A sentinel node biopsy is a procedure that’s typically performed as part of a mastectomy or partial breast excision. A small section of breast tissue is removed, along with several nodes from under the arm. If the cancer has spread, the nodes will be tested to determine the best course of treatment.
Staying Healthy and Finding Support During and After Surgery
For any type of breast surgery, there are certain steps you can take to make your stay in the hospital and recovery as comfortable as possible.
- Before Surgery: Eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated to promote good health, reduce nausea, and aid in wound healing. Stay active to maintain muscle strength and reduce the risk of blood clots. Avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption, as they can negatively affect wound healing.
- During Surgery: Have someone accompany you to the hospital and stay with you throughout the duration of your stay. Take note of your surgeon’s instructions, what medications you’ve been given, and when you should schedule follow-up appointments. Follow any instructions for self-care at home, such as when to apply a compression garment.
- After Surgery: Follow all instructions from your surgeon as to when you can return to work and resume normal activities. Keep the incision clean and dry until it has fully healed.
Breast cancer is a serious disease that affects millions of people every year. It is mostly women who are affected but in rare cases, men too find themselves faced with this difficulty, says Dr. Garvit, well – known for breast cancer surgery in Mumbai.
His team of doctors ensure complete dedication towards you and your treatment and leave no stone unturned to help you recover.
Fortunately, there are many different surgical procedures available for treating it. From lumpectomy to total breast excision, there is a surgical approach for everyone. The best way to know which procedure is right for you is to discuss all of your treatment options with your doctor.