Breast cancer can turn your life upside down. You can reduce your confidence and self-image. It can also take a toll on your physical, mental and emotional health. It is vital to get breast cancer surgery after discussing it with your doctor.
Dr. Garvit Chitkara, a breast specialist in Mumbai, discusses breast cancer surgery in this article.
What is Breast Cancer Surgery?
For most kinds of breast cancer, surgery is the primary treatment option. If you have breast cancer, your doctor will most likely recommend that you get it removed.
If it is impossible to remove the afflicted tissue, surgery is the primary treatment for breast cancer. Breast cancer surgery usually removes a single tumor from your breast, but in some cases, your entire breast may be removed to eradicate the malignancy.
Dr. Garvit Chitkara is regarded as one of the best breast specialists in Mumbai. He has treated hundreds of patients over 14+ years as a breast specialist.
Types of breast cancer surgery
According to Dr. Chitkara, there are two types of breast cancer surgeries: mastectomy and lumpectomy. Other surgeries include lymph node removal and breast reconstruction surgery.
The most common procedure for breast cancer is a mastectomy or breast removal. It can treat both advanced and early stages of breast cancer. As a precautionary strategy, some people have a prophylactic mastectomy.
The following are mastectomy procedures:
- Total mastectomy: The entire breast, minus your chest muscle, is removed during a total mastectomy.
- Double mastectomy: Breasts are removed twice during a double mastectomy. This is required if cancer is spreading to both breasts, or it can be used to prevent cancer from spreading.
- Skin-sparing mastectomy: All of your breast tissue is removed, but your skin and, if possible, your nipples are saved from being used in your breast reconstruction.
- Modified radical mastectomy: Breast tissue and lymph nodes under the arms are removed during a modified radical mastectomy.
- Radical mastectomy: A radical mastectomy involves the removal of the breasts, chest muscles, and underarm lymph nodes. If your breast cancer has gone to your chest muscles, you will need this procedure.
Breast-conservation surgery, often known as a lumpectomy, is a treatment that removes only a piece of your breast tissue. For early-stage breast cancer, this is also an option. If the tumor is small and hasn’t spread yet, you can have surgery to remove the tumor’s lump. During a lumpectomy, a perimeter of surrounding tissue is also drawn to guarantee that no cancer cells remain in your breast.
The advantage of a lumpectomy is that you can keep the majority of your breast. However, your doctor may tell you to get radiation therapy following the surgery to prevent cancer from returning. Radiation therapy is often avoided by having a complete mastectomy instead.
Types of Lumpectomy
Excisional biopsy: Excisional biopsy is removing a tumor to do a biopsy. A laboratory examination of cancer can help establish whether it is cancerous.
Wide local excision: A malignant tumor and a perimeter of tissue around it are removed during a wide local excision. After that, this tissue will be examined to ensure it is cancer-free.
Quadrantectomy: A quarter of your breast, including the duct-lobular system, is removed during a segmental mastectomy. It’s utilized if the tumor has progressed to the ducts.
Re-excision lumpectomy is a procedure following the original removal of the tissue and the margin of tissue around it.
Lymph Node Surgery
Checking the lymph nodes to assess if cancer has spread is essential for breast cancer surgery. This is usually done at the initial surgery, but it can also be done afterward. For breast cancer, there are two types of lymph node surgery:
Dissection of the axillary lymph nodes (ALND): Around 10 to 20 lymph nodes are removed from under the arm by the surgeon. Those are subjected to cancer screenings.
Sentinel lymph node Biopsy: The surgeon locates and removes the lymph node from which the breast cancer is most likely to have spread. Compared to an ALND, this operation is less likely to produce lymphedema or arm swelling.
Lymphedema: When lymph veins or nodes through which the fluid passes are absent, injured or eliminated, the fluid builds up.
Advantages of Breast Cancer Surgery
According to Dr. Chitkara, a breast specialist doctor in Mumbai, the following are the advantages of breast cancer surgery:
- You may feel more confident that your cancer won’t return because you won’t require radiotherapy following the operation.
- If your cancer returns in the future, you can receive radiotherapy in the area.
- Only the cancerous region is removed:
- Attempts to maintain most of the breast tissue are less invasive to your body than a mastectomy
- Requires only a few weeks of recovery
Risks of Breast Cancer Surgery
Breast cancer surgery is safe, but it does include some risks, says Dr. Chitkara. There are risks can consist of:
- Permanent scars
- Issues in the healing of wounds
- Swelling of arm
- Problems related to anesthesia like muscle aches and vomiting.
While deciding on breast cancer surgery, there could be a lot of questions in your mind about the surgery and treatment. It is essential to discuss this with your doctor to get a clear idea. It is vital to remove cancer before it spreads from your breasts to the other organs.