Breast Cancer Mastectomy
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Video: Breast Cancer Survivor AlaineListen to Alaine's breast cancer story - from her first symptoms to her mastectomy discussion and throughout her breast cancer treatment with CTCA. There's life after cancer, and Alaine is living it.
Breast Cancer Survivor Alaine
Listen to breast cancer survivor Alaine recall how she came to CTCA and found doctors who listened to her, and encouraged her to participate in decisions about her treatment.
Mastectomy for Breast Cancer
Most breast cancer patients will have some form of surgery to remove cancer from the breast. Depending on the extent of the breast cancer, your personal preferences and other factors, your CTCA breast cancer team may recommend a mastectomy.
More and more women are opting for breast-conserving surgery over a mastectomy, when appropriate. However, if breast-conserving surgery is not a viable option for you, your surgeon may perform a mastectomy.
A mastectomy involves the surgical removal of all or portions of the breast, and sometimes other tissue. The goal of this type of breast cancer surgery is to remove cancerous tissue before it can spread to other areas of the body.
Types of Breast Cancer Mastectomies
A breast cancer mastectomy may be performed in several ways, including:
- Partial (Segmental) Mastectomy: Your surgeon removes part of the breast that contains the tumor, along with some normal surrounding breast tissue. Some of the lymph nodes under the arm may also be removed. This type of breast cancer surgery is also called a quadrantectomy.
- Total (Simple) Mastectomy: Your surgeon removes the whole breast. Some of the lymph nodes under the arm may also be removed.
- Modified Radical mastectomy: Your surgeon removes the whole breast, along with some of the lymph nodes under the arm, and often the lining over the chest muscles. In this type of breast cancer mastectomy, the muscles under your breast are preserved.
- Radical Mastectomy: The surgeon removes the whole breast, along with all of the lymph nodes under the arm, and the chest wall muscles under the breast (where cancerous cells have spread). This operation, while once considered the standard for women with breast cancer, is very rarely used today. It is typically reserved for advanced cancers (in which the disease has spread to the chest muscles).
Meeting Your Individual Needs
Your care team at CTCA will help you weigh the benefits and risks of each type of treatment so you can decide which breast cancer surgery is right for your individual needs.
If a mastectomy is part of your treatment plan, you will have several options for breast reconstruction using implants or tissue to restore your breast’s appearance and function. Prior to the procedure, you can meet with one of our plastic surgeons to discuss your reconstruction options.
After the procedure, your CTCA care team will support you on many levels. For example, therapies like mind-body medicine will help you cope with the emotional and psychological impact of a mastectomy and image enhancement services will help promote a positive self-image.
Next Topic: Breast Cancer Reconstruction