The Different Types Of Mastectomy Procedures A Breast Cancer Patient Should Know

The Different Types Of Mastectomy Procedures A Breast Cancer Patient Should Know

Many women are hard-hit when the diagnosis for a breast lump is confirmed as breast cancer. One thing that would come to the mind of this patient is endangered life and loss of breast. There is a big fear for cancer. However, with an earlier diagnosis and treatment, a breast cancer patient will have a high survival rate. When your cancer surgeon decides on your mastectomy to prevent the spread of cancer in the breast, you should never panic. Mastectomy has a short healing process and without the cancer-affected breast, you can be blessed with a longer life.

Mastectomy is the surgical removal of the breast – total removal and perhaps some of the tissues surrounding the affected breast. And there are different degrees of mastectomy. These are partial, simple or total, modified radical and radical mastectomy. The kind may be dependent on the stage of the breast cancer and the spread and aggressiveness of cancer cells in the breast, lymph nodes or chest walls. In several cases, mastectomy is preferred over lumpectomy. The latter is merely the removal of the tumor and all the tissues that surround it.

The Different Types Of Mastectomy Procedures A Breast Cancer Patient Should Know

Partial mastectomy will involve a simple removal of the lump and a few of the tissues surrounding it. This does not only remove cancerous tumor. The procedure may also remove some healthy tissues surrounding the tumor. Lumpectomy can also be classified as partial mastectomy except that in the partial mastectomy, a bigger amount of breast tissues are removed.

The simple or total mastectomy will require the removal of the breast but will not involve removal of the lymph nodes or the muscles underlying the breast. When both breasts are affected, a double mastectomy can be the surgical procedure. Some cancer surgeons do skin sparing mastectomy which involves removal of the areola and the nipple. In the subcutaneous mastectomy, the surgeon removes the breast tissues but the nipple will be left untouched.

In simple or total mastectomy, the focus is the surgical removal of the breast tissues. This will not involve the auxiliary lymph node dissection. The simple or total mastectomy is performed when the patient is diagnosed to have multiple patches of carcinoma. This is also prophylactic in nature, not a treatment per se, but may be a preventive measure against occurrence of high risk breast cancer.

Breast removal involving the whole breast and some auxiliary lymph nodes is known as modified radical mastectomy. In this procedure, both breast tissues and lymph nodes are removed. The procedure will involve the removal of the whole breast after which the lymph nodes are dissected such that the underarm nodes can be removed.

A diagnosis of invasive cancer may force the woman to undergo mastectomy, usually a modified radical mastectomy. This will make the examination of the lymph nodes thorough and easier. This will determine whether the cancer has spread or not beyond the breast area.

The radical mastectomy may be the highest level of breast removal and surgery. Here, the breast, auxiliary lymph nodes and the chest wall muscles are removed. This procedure is more common in the past. Today, this is no longer the last resort; in fact this is only done when the cancer had spread to the chest muscles. Modified radical mastectomy is usually sufficient.

The Different Types Of Mastectomy Procedures A Breast Cancer Patient Should Know

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