Is A Lumpectomy The Right Procedure For Your Breast Cancer?

Posted on: 29 July 2022

If you have an early stage of breast cancer, such as stage I, stage II, or ductal carcinoma in situ, you may be exploring your different treatment options. WebMD says that Lumpectomies—along with radiation therapy—are increasing common surgeries for early breast cancer patients since they are less invasive and have a high survival rate.

Read on to learn more about this procedure and what it entails to see if it would be a good treatment path for you.

What is the Procedure Like? 

While a mastectomy is a surgery that removes the entire breast, lumpectomies only remove a portion of the breast. A surgeon will remove the tumor as well as a margin of healthy breast tissue to make sure no cancer cells are left behind. Before the procedure, a radiologist will place a small chip or wire into the tumor to mark the cancerous cells and help guide the surgeon.

Before suturing the site, the surgeon will place more marking clips to help guide oncologists for radiation therapy at a later date. Lumpectomies are often paired with radiation therapy in case any missed cancer cells will be destroyed. Although lumpectomies are outpatient procedures, patients should expect to feel groggy after treatment since they will be under general anesthesia.

Who is a Good Candidate for Treatment?

Only your doctor can tell you whether you qualify for a lumpectomy. Besides having an early stage of breast cancer, a patient should have

  • Cancer that hasn't spread and only affects one area of the breast
  • A small-enough tumor so that there is enough remaining tissue to reshape the breast after surgery
  • The ability to complete radiation therapy after the lumpectomy

You may qualify for a lumpectomy, but if you have a certain medical condition, like lupus, then that could be a contraindication for the radiation therapy aspect. If you've been treated previously for another breast cancer with radiation, then a lumpectomy plus radiation may also be contraindicated.

Even if you qualify for treatment, you will still need to weigh the pros and cons. For example, one survey of breast cancer survivors examined the pros and cons between lumpectomies and mastectomies. The survey found that mastectomies were associated with less chronic pain and fewer post-surgical side effects than lumpectomies. However, patients were less satisfied with the cosmetic results of mastectomies compared to lumpectomies.

Breast cancer treatment services can help you weigh all of the pros and cons of different treatments so that you can find one that best suits your needs. Reach out to a health and medical provider today for more details.