Once a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, her best chance for survival is the removal of the tumor. While some individuals may require chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments to shrink the tumor before surgery, surgery is often the first line of attack against breast cancer.
While removal of the tumor and prevention of cancer recurrence are the top priorities when it comes to breast cancer surgery and treatment, women are given certain choices with respect to their treatment plan. Choices, of course, are dependent on the tumor’s specific characteristics; such as size, location, grade, and nodal status. Typically, a specific surgical procedure may be recommended by your medical team, however all options are discussed with each patient before surgery to determine the best treatment for you.
When it comes to breast cancer surgeries, there are two general types. A partial mastectomy, also known as a lumpectomy, is the surgical removal of the tumor along with a margin of healthy tissue. This is commonly followed by radiation therapy. A mastectomy removes all of the breast tissue including the nipple and/or part of the chest wall muscles below the breast. A mastectomy may or may not require radiation therapy.
Although both surgical procedures eradicate breast cancer, when possible, and depending on patient preference, our surgical team prefers breast conserving therapies. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines and recent studies indicate a comparable survival rate for a partial mastectomy followed by radiation therapy and for a mastectomy. When given the choice between a partial mastectomy and radiation therapy or a mastectomy, some women will decide to proceed with a mastectomy for many different reasons.
Personal choice of surgical intervention for each woman often takes into consideration her feelings about losing her breast, the ability to tolerate radiation therapy, travel restrictions for completing a course of radiation, considerations of breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, as well as the fear of recurrence. Decisions on the most appropriate surgical intervention are then often tailored to the specific patient. We address each woman’s concerns and preferences without compromising the effectiveness of treatment.
Our highly skilled breast surgeons and oncology team recognizes that breast cancer surgery is very personal. Our goal is to help each patient understand all of their options so that together we can decide on the best treatment plan.
Portneuf Surgical Specialists provide patient centered care with the support of advanced technology and a goal of swift recovery. Our surgery team is dedicated to meeting your surgical needs with expertise in performing surgical procedures of all types for breast cancer.
We offer a comprehensive and integrated plan of care for each patient, taking into account their unique needs and individual health history. We rely on a team approach to ensure that each patient receives care appropriate for their diagnosis and in keeping with the current oncologic and surgical standards of care.