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Surgical Management of Breast Cancer

Surgical Management of Breast Cancer

Millions of women worldwide are affected by breast cancer. After skin, it is the second most common cancer in women. Early detection and treatment of breast cancer are essential to reaching the best results. Breast Cancer is seen as a common illness among women, as every 4 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and every 13 minutes, a death occurs from the disease. Understanding its symptoms and treatment is critical to help the women with early-breast cancer stage treatment. So, we have provided a complete guide to understand different stages, symptoms, and types of surgery used to treat Breast Cancer.


Elements to consider in the type of surgery:


When choosing the type of breast cancer surgery, you should consider the following things: 


  • Breast cancer stage: The Breast cancer stage plays an important part in deciding the best surgical treatment. Depending on the breast cancer stage, the best breast cancer treatment can be followed for better outcomes. 
  • Tumour size and location: Tumour size and location can determine the most appropriate surgery for a breast cancer patient. 
  • Patient preferences: Doctor should take into consideration a patient's preference which is an important part of choosing the treatment and care for surgery.


Pre-operative preparation 


Some of the pre-operative preparations for Breast cancer surgery are: 

  • Medical evaluation and tests: Before surgery, patients go through medical tests to confirm they are fit for the surgery. This may include a physical exam, blood tests, imaging tests, and other diagnostic tests to evaluate breast cancer and determine the risk of cancer recurrence. 
  • Counseling and education: pre-operative counseling and education can help breast cancer patients prepare for their procedure by providing details about their surgical choices, like the procedure's risks and benefits, and what to expect during healing, which can help reduce feelings of anxiety, nervousness, and tension and allow patients to make informed decisions about their treatment.
  • Planning for breast reconstruction: Planning is required for patients who choose to have breast reconstruction, which may include conversations with plastic surgeons about different breast reconstruction options and consideration of the timing of reconstruction with breast cancer surgery. 


All in all, pre-operative preparation is an integral part of the breast cancer surgical procedure.


Intra-operative procedures


Here are some of the critical intraoperative procedures used in breast cancer surgery:


  • Techniques used in breast conservation surgery (BCS): BCS is a kind of breast cancer surgery in which the cancerous tissue is removed while as much healthy breast tissue as possible is preserved. Oncoplastic surgery may be used, which involves reframing the leftover breast tissue to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing result.


  • Types of mastectomies (e.g., skin-sparing, nipple-sparing): In the case of a mastectomy, it can perform various procedures. These include skin-sparing mastectomy, which leaves the skin of the breast intact, and nipple-sparing mastectomy, which preserves the nipple and areola.


  • Lumpectomy surgery is a common breast cancer treatment. Unlike a mastectomy, a lumpectomy removes cancer cells with a small margin of healthy breast tissue. It will allow you to keep your breast’s natural look and shape after cancer. After a lumpectomy, radiation or other cancer treatments may be required.


  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy and Axillary dissection A doctor may perform a sentinel lymph node biopsy or axillary dissection to determine if breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. In this, one or a few lymph nodes are removed and examined, whereas in an axillary dissection, more lymph nodes are removed.


  • Role of intraoperative imaging and guidance: Intraoperative imaging and guidance, such as ultrasound or MRI, can help guide the surgeon during the procedure and ensure that all cancerous tissue is removed.


Overall, intraoperative procedures are essential for successful breast cancer surgery. 


Post-operative care and follow-up


Here are some important aspects of postoperative care and follow-up:


  • Wound care and pain management: Proper wound care and pain management after breast cancer surgery are critical for avoiding infection and promoting healing, as well as for the patient's comfort and well-being.


  • Monitoring for complications: Although complications following breast cancer surgery are uncommon, it is still essential to be aware of the risks and look for signs of complications such as infection, bleeding, or changes in sensation.

  • Adjuvant therapies (e.g., radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy): Depending on the stage of cancer and individual characteristics, adjuvant therapies such as radiation, chemotherapy, or hormone therapy may be recommended to help reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.


  • Surveillance and regular check-ups: After breast cancer surgery, patients must adhere to proper post-operative care and follow-up to ensure a successful recovery and long-term health, including wound care, pain management, monitoring for complications, taking any necessary adjuvant therapies, and scheduling regular check-ups. 



Common misconceptions and concerns about breast cancer surgery


Here are some of the most common breast cancer surgery misunderstandings and concerns:


  • Fear of disfigurement or loss of femininity
  • Beliefs about recurrence and low survival rates
  • Lack of informed decision-making and open communication

However, you can approach your breast cancer treatment with confidence by addressing common misconceptions and concerns and having a thorough understanding of the facts about breast cancer surgery.




Breast cancer surgery is an essential and effective breast cancer treatment option for many women. Early detection and prompt medical attention are vital to achieving the best possible outcome. With timely medical attention and care, women can improve their chances of a successful outcome and a positive quality of life. A bloody discharge from the nipple and changes in the shape or texture of the nipple or breast are all symptoms of breast cancer. It is essential to consult with an Oncologist specialist to decide the treatment plan for the case. You can visit Dr abcd to rule out breast cancer or confirm a diagnosis. 

Medanta Medical Team
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