Of the many things that are difficult to hear, perhaps a cancer diagnosis is the least welcomed. The words evoke terrible images of long hospital stays, radiation and chemical therapies that sap strength and cause constant sickness, and of course operations to remove the cancerous tissue that is destroying the body.
Well there is not easy way to get through the diagnosis and the feelings they bring, but there can be comfort in knowing that cancer survival rates for many types of cancers continue to climb. And treatments are very advanced these days causing less overall pain and sickness and a shorter disruption of a cancer patient’s life.
For the more than 250,000 women who will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and the more than 63,000 who will get invasive breast cancer this year, and nearly 1 in 8 American women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lives. Perhaps the best news about breast cancer is that the rates are decreasing and there are many different treatment options that are now available depending upon at what stage and where the cancer is specifically.
This is wonderful news because the diagnosis of breast cancer for a woman can be particularly devastating. A women’s breasts in addition to having a physiological function, also are a key measure of a woman’s femininity and part of how she builds her self-confidence. The idea of having to have one or both operated on or removed can be demeaning and cause mental stress and depression.
The usual treatment regimen when breast cancer is discovered is to have an operation to remove the cancerous tissue followed by radiation and chemotherapy to ensure the cancer has been removed entirely from the body.
As it stands, hundreds of thousands of women each year have some type of breast cancer surgery. The range of surgeries go from the slight to the extreme and depend on where the cancer has been detected and where it will likely spread. The most extreme cases call for radical surgeries that will disfigure a woman, but lesser surgeries including a breast cancer lumpectomy are more and more common, and produce only limited tissue removal and scarring. Here is a description of breast cancer lumpectomy surgery:
Breast Cancer Lumpectomy Surgery
The most discussed type of breast surgery is a mastectomy where the breast or breasts are removed. These surgeries can also include removal of the lymph nodes and in extreme cases the chest wall. The type of mastectomy performed depends on where the cancer is found, but in any case, where a mastectomy is recommended, the cancer has advanced.
A lumpectomy is a partial mastectomy surgery meaning only the tumor and some of the tissue around it is removed. This is the least invasive surgery and can occur sometimes without a radical change to the breast. Because it also requires radiation as a follow-up it limits the women who can have this type of surgery. As an example, pregnant women are not candidates. The important part in the recommendation of a lumpectomy is that the cancer has not spread outside the breast. If it has spread to additional tissue, a lumpectomy surgery is not an option.