Often referred to as breast-conserving surgery, lumpectomy is an option for breast cancer treatment. Lumpectomy is the surgical removal of the cancerous lump and a small margin of normal breast tissue around it.
After the surgery, a pathologist looks to see if the edges of the removed lump of tissue are clean of any cancer cells. If there are additional cancer cells, more tissue needs to be removed until the margins are free of cancer.
Breast-preservation surgery can be referred to by several different names: lumpectomy, partial mastectomy, re-excision, quadrantectomy, or wedge resection. Technically, a lumpectomy is a partial mastectomy because part of the breast tissue is removed.
The main advantage of lumpectomy in the treatment of breast cancer is that it can preserve much of the breast’s appearance and sensation while offering equal survival to the mastectomy option. Lumpectomy is a less invasive surgery, so recovery time is shorter and easier than with mastectomy.
Lumpectomy is highly effective to conserve the breast while removing the cancerous cells. However, there are some important factors to consider:
- Patients typically have daily doses of radiation therapy for several weeks after lumpectomy surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy may affect later surgery options on that breast.
- There is a slightly higher risk of developing a local recurrence of the cancer after lumpectomy than after mastectomy. If recurrence happens, mastectomy will be necessary.
Our specialists and care team are here to answer your questions regarding your treatment options for breast cancer or breast disorders.