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A radical mastectomy used to be the most commonly performed breast cancer removal surgeries. It involves the entire removal of all breast tissue, surrounding tissue, underlying pectoral muscles, and the surrounding axillary lymph nodes. It has primarily been replaced by modified radical mastectomies (see below). However, it may still be implemented when there is evidence of cancer in the lymph nodes on physical examination or with large tumors.
MODIFIED RADICAL MASTECTOMY
Unlike the radical mastectomy, a modified radical mastectomy does not remove the underlying pectoral muscle. Instead, it is the removal of all the breast tissue and surrounding axillary lymph nodes.
A lumpectomy is breast cancer surgery involving the removal of the lump, along with a small amount of surrounding tissue. Afterwards, radiation and possibly chemotherapy (depending on tumor characteristics) is commonly instituted to ensure complete treatment and decrease risk of recurrence of cancer in the future.
SENTINEL LYMPH NODE BIOPSY
When mastectomies and lumpectomies are done for cancer diagnosis, the lymph nodes must be sampled in order to confirm the presence or absence of spread. This is done as part of the operation and may require an additional incision.
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This is just a brief overview of the various types of breast cancer surgeries that can be performed. Please don’t hesitate to make an appointment we can answer any and all questions you may have. Y