When a woman finds a breast lump in one or both of her breasts, she may be worried about breast cancer. So she dashes off to see her physician in order to be certain if she’s indeed afflicted with such life-threatening disease. Yet no matter whether the lump is malignant or not, the doctor may still suggest breast lump removal.
Breast lump removal, otherwise known as lumpectomy, is the surgical removal of a lump in the breast, regardless of whether it’s benign or not. So as to be certain that no cancer remains in the breast, some of the surrounding tissues may be taken out as well. This is opposed to total mastectomy where the entire breast tissue is removed. Breast lump removal is thusly called breast conservation surgery, breast sparing surgery, wide local excision, and partial mastectomy as well.
The major goal of breast lump removal is to rid the breast of any benign or malignant tissue while also keeping the breast’s appearance. A doctor would usually recommend breast lump removal in stage I or stage II breast cancer patients. However, the doctor will have to consider the following first before performing breast lump surgery: number, location, and size of the tumor.
*Number – If multiple, diffuse lumps are present, lumpectomy may result in disfiguration of the breast. In such cases, the more ideal procedure is radical mastectomy. If the lumps, however, are not multifocal in nature, the doctor may still go for breast lump removal.
*Location – If the breast lump is attached to nearby structures such as the chest wall, adjacent bones, skin, or lymph nodes, total mastectomy may be required. However, lymph node involvement does not necessarily mean that breast lump removal is impossible. The doctor might decide to proceed with lumpectomy if the lymph node is not attached to other lymph nodes and other surrounding tissues.
*Size – Breast lump removal is performed if the lump is found to be five centimeters or less. A more extensive operation may be required for lumps larger than five centimeters.