Understanding Your Breast Cancer Surgery Options

Finding out you've been diagnosed with breast cancer can be absolutely devastating. However, once you get over the shock, you'll be glad to know that many different treatment options exist.

The right treatment option for you will depend on the severity of your breast cancer, as well as other factors as evaluated by a doctor.

With that said, when possible, surgery is one of the best possible options. Through surgery, the cancerous tissue can be removed, often completely eliminating the cancer.

If surgery is an option for you, your doctor will explain thew two main types of surgery, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.


A mastectomy is a common method of breast cancer treatment. Through this surgical procedure, the entire breast is removed. In some cases, both breasts will need to be removed, depending on whether or not cancer is located in both breasts.

One nice thing about a mastectomy is that, once you've had the breast removed, there is not a possibility of breast cancer coming back and affecting you.

Of course, however, you do have to deal with the confidence and self-image issues that many people experience following a mastectomy. Fortunately, there are prosthetic devices and even surgical reconstruction options that you may consider.

You also have to consider that a mastectomy tends to be more invasive, expensive, and time-consuming than the other surgical option.

Choosing to have a mastectomy is never easy, but for many individuals, it does prove to be the right option, especially if they have a high chance of cancer recurrence or have certain risk factors that make them more predisposed to breast cancer than the average person.


Many individuals with breast cancer greatly prefer to have a lumpectomy, which removes only part of the breast tissue.

Unfortunately, though, not everyone will qualify for a lumpectomy. In order for most doctors to consider the procedure, you must have only one cancerous area in the breast, and the area must be small in size.

If lumpectomy is an option for you, consider that your breasts may differ in size following the procedure, though cosmetic options may be available after you have healed.

Also, doctors usually advise radiation following a lumpectomy, which means you will have a longer recovery process. Plus, with a lumpectomy, there is always a chance that the cancer will return. For many people, though, a lumpectomy does take care of the cancer fully.

When it comes to breast cancer, there are no easy options. However, knowing your choices and talking them over carefully with a trained medical professional can enable and empower you to make the best possible decision for yourself and your overall health and quality of life.