Lumpectomy or Mastectomy: Which One is Best for You?
If your surgical oncologist has given you the option of a lumpectomy or a mastectomy to remove a breast tumour, it's usually because both procedures will produce similar results in terms of your post-surgery prognosis. However, whether the choice is best for you is a delicate subject that depends on your body shape, breast size, genetics, and personal tastes and objectives. Here we’ve discussed how you should choose between breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy.
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Understanding these two: lumpectomy and mastectomy
Before I get into the benefits and drawbacks of each form of breast cancer surgery, let's describe the two procedures and discuss why one may be better for some women than the other.
- Lumpectomy surgery (also known as breast-conserving surgery) eliminates only the tumour and a margin of healthy tissue around it (and often one or more lymph nodes in the armpit).
- A mastectomy is a surgical procedure that removes the entire breast (along with certain lymph nodes in the armpit).
Benefits and complications related to lumpectomy:
The main advantage of a lumpectomy is that it can keep much of your breast's appearance and sensation. Because it is a less intrusive procedure, your recovery period will be quicker and easier than with a mastectomy.
Lumpectomy has the following potential drawbacks:
- After lumpectomy surgery, you will most likely have 5 to 7 weeks of radiation therapy, 5 days per week, to ensure the malignancy is gone.
- Radiation therapy may influence the timing of reconstruction as well as your post-surgery reconstruction alternatives. Radiation therapy may also impact your future possibilities for breast lifts or balancing surgery.
- The risk of getting a local recurrence of the cancer is slightly higher after a lumpectomy than after a mastectomy. Local recurrence, on the other hand, can be successfully treated.
Mastectomy benefits and disadvantages:
For some women, having the entire breast removed gives them more peace of mind. Depending on the pathology results, radiation therapy may still be required.
Mastectomy may have the following drawbacks:
- Mastectomy is more comprehensive and time-consuming than lumpectomy, with greater post-surgery adverse effects and a longer recovery period.
- Mastectomy results in the permanent removal of your breast.
- Following a mastectomy, you will almost certainly require additional procedures to restore your breast.
Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy often requires more long-term maintenance than a lumpectomy, particularly for patients who have breast implants instead of their own tissue. Breast implants normally need to be updated every 10 years, and additional operations may be required to preserve symmetry between the rebuilt and natural breasts.
Also, Read - Stage 3 Breast Cancer Survival Rate By Age
You can make your own decision:
Your breasts may be such a crucial part of your identity—your sense of self—that you will go to tremendous lengths to keep them. That's a perfectly fine approach to pursue, regardless of your age or size, as long as it doesn't jeopardize your general health and prospects of full recovery.
Discuss your preferences and reconstructive options in detail with your surgeon before choosing the surgical option.
Also, Read - Breast Cancer Stages & Treatment
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