Conquering Breast Cancer with Mastectomy

Breast Cancer with Mastectomy

Breast cancer is one of the most frightening diseases for women. Mastectomy is one of the actions that are often taken to overcome it. Mastectomy is the term for surgical removal of the breast to remove cancer cells. Mastectomy can be performed on one or both breasts.

This treatment procedure can be done alone or with other breast cancer treatments, such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The determination of the treatment depends on the stage of breast cancer that you experience.

Types of mastectomy surgery ;

Lumpectomy or Partial Mastectomy 

This procedure will remove the part of the breast affected by the tumor, then usually followed by radiation therapy to kill and prevent the spread of cancer cells. Partial mastectomy is generally performed for people with stage 1 or 2 breast cancer.

A partial mastectomy is the removal of cancerous breast tissue and some of the normal tissue around it. This type of surgery is often confused with a lumpectomy technically. However, a partial mastectomy generally removes more tissue than a lumpectomy.

Radical Mastectomy 

This type of mastectomy is becoming increasingly rare. This action will lift the entire breast, including the nipple. A radical mastectomy also removes the skin over the breast, the muscles below, and the lymph nodes. Radical mastectomy is the most widespread type of breast cancer surgery. In this type, the surgeon will remove the entire breast, including the axillary (armpit) lymph nodes and the chest wall muscles under the breast.

Modified Radical Mastectomy

This mastectomy will remove the entire breast and lymph nodes under the armpit, but the chest muscles are generally preserved. Meanwhile, the skin on the top of the breast can be removed or left. This procedure combines a total mastectomy with the removal of the lymph nodes under the arm. However, the chest muscles are not removed and are left intact without being touched. Most patients with invasive breast cancer who decide to have a mastectomy will receive this type of mastectomy. Axillary lymph nodes are less likely to be removed to identify whether cancer cells have spread beyond the breast.

Preventive Mastectomy

Preventive mastectomy can reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 90 percent in high-risk groups of women. This procedure can take the form of removing the breast and nipple as a whole or maintaining the presence of the nipple. Preventive mastectomy is also commonly performed in women with breast cancer in one breast; then, preventive measures are taken in the other breast. 

Double Mastectomy

A double mastectomy is the surgical removal of cancer on both sides of the breast. This mastectomy procedure is the most commonly performed for women at very high risk of developing breast cancer, especially women who have the BRCA gene mutation.

Women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer can choose between lumpectomy and mastectomy treatment. A lumpectomy is generally always performed with radiotherapy, which is also known as breast-conserving therapy or surgery. Both are considered equally effective for preventing the recurrence of breast cancer. However, sometimes the effectiveness and outcome of a mastectomy are much better.

Side Effects Mastectomy

Mastectomy surgery is not risk-free. Sometimes after a mastectomy, there is usually pain or swelling in the tissue around the chest. There will also be scars on the breasts, along with changes in shape. Nerve pain (neuropathic), sometimes described as burning or stabbing, in the chest wall, armpit, and arm that doesn't go away with time. This condition is called PMPS (post-mastectomy pain syndrome). The following are some of the possible side effects of a mastectomy:

  • Accumulation of blood in the wound (hematoma)
  • A buildup of clear fluid in the wound (seroma)
  • Bleeding and infection in the operated area
  • Swelling (lymphedema) in the arm if also surgical removal of the lymph nodes.

Generally, recovery from surgery can take up to several weeks. However, recovery will take longer if you do breast reconstruction all at once. How to recover after breast removal surgery can be different for each person.

Breast cancer is one type of cancer that has a high cure rate if treated immediately. If necessary, consider having a mastectomy after consulting your doctor.

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