Surgery is usually the first attack against breast cancer. The objective of breast cancer treatment is to remove the tumor and the nearby tissues. Read about Breast Cancer Surgery.
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Surgery is usually the first attack against breast cancer. The objective of breast cancer treatment is to remove the tumor and the nearby tissues. The margins are removed as there is a chance of them being cancerous and to prevent cancer from reoccurring in the breasts. Apart from this, breast cancer surgery is also advised to:
There are different types of breast cancer surgery. Depending on your diagnosis, you can find the best breast cancer surgeon in India to advise you on the ideal route ahead for the treatment of breast cancer.
Lumpectomy– In this surgery, only the tumor and nearby tissues are removed. In some cases, even the lymph nodes around the armpits may be removed. It conserves the breasts to an extent as much as possible. This is ideal for women with small breasts or women with early cancer stages. Post the surgery, radiation therapy is required in most cases.
Mastectomy – In Partial Mastectomy, more tissue is removed compared to lumpectomy including the tumour and the healthy tissue around. In Total Mastectomy, the entire breasts are removed along with the nipples, areola and sentinel lymph nodes. By opting for a total mastectomy, the chances of reoccurrence are minimized.
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If a patient feels a lump in the breast, armpit or upper chest, notices a change in the skin texture or colour or if there is a change in the appearance or direction of the nipple, it is advised to opt for a breast mammogram. However, a mammogram cannot find every cancer and thus, in order to identify cancer’s presence in the lymph nodes, a sentinel lymph node dissection is conducted. In most cases, the first lymph node in which cancer has spread is removed and examined. Post the reports, the doctor will advise on the next steps of treatment for breast cancer depending on the stage and extent of cancer in the body.
Deciding whether to opt for a lumpectomy or mastectomy is the biggest decision you will have to take in consultation with your doctor. If cancer has spread to an advanced stage and to more than one site in the breast, a mastectomy is the only option. If it is an early stage and some part of the breast can be retained, a lumpectomy is the best option. If the patient is worried about the cancer returning, a mastectomy is usually advised by best doctors for breast cancer in India. If only one breast is affected and a lumpectomy is done, one breast may become smaller than the other. Patients can opt for a breast reconstruction surgery post the cancer surgery.
Prior to your surgery, the doctor will prescribe certain tests to check your overall health and monitor cancer’s presence in the breasts. Common tests include:
The doctor will also explain the process and mark the area of operation. Patients cannot eat or drink for a few hours before the surgery. Smoking is also strictly prohibited during this time.
The patient is given anaesthesia and a team of surgical oncologists perform the operation at a breast cancer hospital. The anaesthesiologist will keep you comfortable and safe at all times during the surgery, minimizing post-operative pain and nausea. A pathologist examines the tissues removed from the body and provides instant information to the surgeon to facilitate optimum removal of the tumour so that you don’t have to undergo multiple surgeries.
Once the patient wakes up, pain-killers are given to reduce the operative pain and a rehabilitation therapist works with the patient to help her regain her strength. Depending on the nature of your surgery, you may have some drain tubes near the wound which collect blood and fluids from the surgical wounds. Post a lumpectomy, you might have to stay for 1 or 2 days and in the case of a mastectomy, you might have to stay a day or two extra in the hospital.
As with any surgery, breast cancer surgery comes with its share of risks and complications. Your doctor will explain all the associated risks beforehand so that you can take an informed decision.Risks During Surgery:
While a lumpectomy keeps a part of the breast intact and is less extensive, a mastectomy does not require radiation therapy post-surgery and the chances or reoccurrence are drastically reduced. A lumpectomy takes approximately an hour’s time, and a mastectomy can go on for 2-3 hours and even more if a reconstruction surgery is done along with it. The approx cost would be $6,500 - $ 11,000 and approx duration will be 7-14 days. You might also have to consider other travel and living expenses along with miscellaneous medical expenses during and post the surgery.
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