What is Breast Conserving Surgery?
Breast-conserving surgery (BCS)removes the cancer while leaving as much normal breast as possible. Usually, some surrounding healthy tissue and lymph nodes also are remove Breast-conserving surgery is sometimes called lumpectomy, quadrantectomy, partial mastectomy, or segmental mastectomy depending on how much tissue is removed .
Who can have breast-conserving surgery?
BCS might be a good option if you:
- *Are very concerned about losing a breast
- *Are willing to have radiation therapy and are able to get to the appointments
- *Have not already had their breast treated with radiation therapy or BCS
- *Have only one area of cancer in the breast, or multiple areas that are close enough to be removed together without changing the look of the breast too much
- *Have a tumor smaller than 5 cm (2 inches), and that is also small relative to the size of the breast
- *Are not pregnant or, if pregnant, will not need radiation therapy immediately (to avoid risking harm to the fetus)
- *Do not have a genetic factor such as a BRCA or ATM mutation, which might increase your chance of a second breast cancer
- *Do not have certain serious connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma or lupus, which may make you especially sensitive to the side effects of radiation therapy
- *Do not have inflammatory breast cancer
- *Do not have positive margins
Treatment after breast-conserving surgery
Most women will need radiation therapy to the breast after breast-conserving surgery. Sometimes, to make it easier to aim the radiation, small metallic clips (which will show up on x-rays) may be placed inside the breast during surgery to mark the area.
Many women will have hormone therapy after surgery to help lower the risk of the cancer coming back. Some women might also need chemotherapy after surgery. If so, radiation therapy and hormone therapy are usually delayed until the chemotherapy is completed.