The Basics of Breast Cancer Surgery
Each year, thousands of women, and some men, must undergo breast cancer surgery. This is an important part of treatment. Surgery for this type of cancer goes back a long time, and is often still the first consideration when a cancerous mass is found anywhere in the body. As time goes along, and more research is done, surgeries are becoming more and more exact. This means less trauma for the patient, and also means that we know more about cancer than ever before.
The earliest breast cancer surgery was almost always a mastectomy. This means the entire breast was removed. Though this did go a long way to save lives, it often left women feeling like they were not longer women. It was a very trying ordeal, and though it is still used today, it is not nearly as common as it once was. This type of breast cancer surgery is usually performed when the cancer has spread though most of the breast, and there is no other choice. This might be all that is needed for treatment, though some who have had a mastectomy will go through radiation if it is suspected the cancer has spread to other areas of the body.
If the cancer is only found in one small lump, this can be removed while saving the rest of the breast. This is preferable to most women for obvious reasons. We learn more and more about breast cancer each year, and this allows for modifications in the way breast cancer surgery is done. Doctors are able to leave more of the breast intact than every before, though this almost always means the patient needs to have chemotherapy and radiation treatment. There may be cells that have spread, and these need to be taken care of for the long term health of the patient. In some cases, some of the lymph nodes are taken out as well to determine if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
What type of breast cancer surgery that will be required will depend on a lot of different factors. Cancer found in the very early stages may not require any surgery at all. Doctors will look at what type of breast cancer you have, how much is has spread, and even the state of your overall health when deciding what to do and how to proceed. You will have some say in what type of breast surgery you want to have, but it is in your best interest to listen to the advice of your doctor, and do a lot of research before you make your final decision. You may even want to get a second opinion, and talk to the members of your family to see what they have to say about the issue.
No matter what type of breast cancer surgery you must have, there are some things you should remember. You want to be in the best health possible before you go in. If you smoke, you should quit. Smoking can cause complications with the anesthetic. Once after breast cancer surgery, you should make sure you go to all of your follow up appointments, and be sure to stay on course with your radiation, chemotherapy, or your hormone treatments if that is what your doctor wants you to do. Deaths due to cancer are going down, which means more and more people are surviving. Do everything you can to be one of them.