Breast Cancer and the Two Types of Breast Surgery

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Do you know of anybody with breast cancer? A 乳房手術 family member, a friend, an associate or – you? Take the situation easy. Breast cancer is curable but still the best way to get rid of the cancer cells in your breast is surgery. Undergo breast surgery and save your life.

When you decide to go for breast surgery, either a part of your breast or your whole breast is removed. When only a fraction is taken away, you have breast conserving surgery. Mastectomy on the other hand, is surgery with the removal of the whole cancer-stricken breast.

Breast Conserving Surgery

The operation involves removing the lump with cancer cells and some healthy cells in the perimeter (called surgical margin) of the lump. In this procedure, you only lose a part of your breast. When this type of surgery is done, radiotherapy usually follows.

The operation is done in a hospital. You will have to be confined a day before your scheduled operation for a routine check-up and laboratory tests. You will undergo the usual preoperative preparation (usual to any type of surgery). You will be subjected to general anesthesia and the actual surgery procedure takes 1 to 2 hours. Biopsy will be done on the sample to determine the extent of the cancer. This will also be the basis for treatment. After surgery, you will be required to stay in the hospital for another day or two – for recovery process.

After the operation (post operation), the incision on your breast will have visible dressing. If lymph nodes were removed (also for examination), a plastic tube called drain will be placed near the armpit. The purpose of the drain is to extract blood that may be collected during the whole process of wound healing. The tube will be out in a matter of days. In about 7 to 10 days, your wound is healed. You are now ready for the follow-up treatment – radiotherapy coming next.

Mastectomy

This is more radical surgery as it involves removal of the whole breast together with the areola and nipple. It will also include removal of lymph nodes near the armpit.

The actual surgery procedure is identical to the breast conserving surgery. You have to arrive in the hospital a day before the schedule to undergo routine preoperative evaluation, be under anesthesia and operation procedure in 1 -2 hours, confinement for 1 -2 days after surgery.

After surgery, your operation site has an awful-looking dressing. The area where your breast was previously situated, is now flat. There is a tube below the armpit used to drain the blood. The drain is removed after a few days. The healing time for the wound may take a week or two.

After the wound is healed, your next therapy is recommended. Depending upon your surgeon or oncologist, your next treatment may be radiotherapy or chemotherapy. The next steps are dependent upon the pathology report (biopsy of the breast sample).

It is good to have breast self-examination. Any lump in your breast can be a signal so never delay – have a breast mammography and save your breast – save your life. Breast cancer can be battled with surgery.

 

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