What’s the Difference? Mastectomy and Lumpectomy

(October 16, 2023) – Mastectomies and lumpectomies are surgical procedures that are used to treat breast cancer. Both procedures are designed to remove the cancerous tissue from the breast, but they differ in the extent of the tissue that is removed.

A mastectomy is a more extensive procedure, in which the entire breast is removed. This may be done in cases where the cancer is advanced or has spread to multiple areas of the breast. Mastectomies may also be recommended for women who have a high risk of breast cancer, such as those with a family history of the disease.

In contrast, a lumpectomy, also called breast-conserving surgery, is a less invasive procedure in which only the tumor and a small margin of surrounding tissue are removed. This procedure is often used for women with early-stage breast cancer and can preserve the appearance of the breast.

Both procedures may be followed by radiation therapy to ensure that all cancerous cells are eliminated. Women who undergo a mastectomy may also choose to have breast reconstruction surgery to restore the appearance of the breast.

It’s important to note that these surgical options are not mutually exclusive, they are based on the individual’s case, health condition, and treatment plan. A patient and the doctor will discuss the best options for the patient after considering all the factors.

It’s important to have a thorough consultation with a breast surgeon and oncologist to determine the best course of treatment for your particular case of breast cancer.

It’s also important to note that there are other treatments options such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and targeted therapy, these can be used in conjunction with surgery or as a stand-alone treatment depending on the situation.

Overall, mastectomies and lumpectomies are important tools in the fight against breast cancer and have helped save the lives of countless women. With the development of newer treatments, the survival rates of women who have breast cancer are increasing, and many are able to live full and healthy lives after their diagnosis.