The lumpectomy procedure is one that has the surgeon removes a small part of the breast tissue that is cancerous or is suspected to be so. A surgical oncologist usually performs this surgery and it may be known by different names as well such as partial mastectomy or breast conservation surgery. Here are 6 things to know about it.
- Who gets it done
Usually women who have got a small part of the breast that is cancerous or the doctor suspects of being cancerous are the ones who usually go for this procedure. If there is a large mass of the breast tissue that is cancerous, more significant part of the breast tissue may have to be removed, and it ceases to be known as a lumpectomy.
- How long does the procedure last?
Today, with modern medical advancements, it is possible for the patient to choose local anesthesia for the surgery instead of general anesthesia. This also means that if the procedure is done in the morning, the patient can return home on the same day or the next morning. This is good news for people who don’t like to stay in hospitals. It is a minor surgery and it does not take much time for the surgeon to do it.
- Is radiation necessary?
This is a question that most women thinking of going for this procedure have to ask. Breast cancer is dreaded and it is best to get the answers beforehand. Doctors usually prescribe women to go for radiation therapy after a lumpectomy and hence they should be strong enough to go for this follow-up treatment plan. The combo of lumpectomy and radiation is usually good enough to help women with breast cancer live as long as those who have undergone a total mastectomy. But lumpectomy and radiation is not a good choice for women who have several lumps in their breasts, have larger sized tumors, or have tumors that may have extended to other lymph nodes and tissues of the breast. It is also not a good idea for women who have a tumor that is located in such an area that removing enough tissue would be difficult.
- What to ask the surgeon
It is a good thing to ask the surgeon as many questions as one deems fit. Some of the important questions to ask before a lumpectomy is the kind of care to be taken right after the surgery, what one can expect during the surgery and all one needs to know about the radiation that will follow the surgery. This helps the patient be knowledgeable about what to expect so that one is better prepared.
- Will the surgery is helpful?
This really depends on the individual condition of patients. Such a surgery is recommended for patients whose cancer has not spread much and is therefore not a full cure. Radiation has to follow after the surgery.
Finding the right surgeon and hospital for lumpectomy procedure should be an important part of the discussion.