BREAST CANCER SURGERY
Surgery is recommended for almost all women who have a cancerous lump. In the surgical treatment of breast cancer, the main aim is to remove the lump completely. Any cancer that has spread to nearby tissue also has to be removed.
Surgical removal of a breast cancer with breast-conserving surgery technique is called wide excision. This involves removal of the breast cancer and some surrounding normal tissue.
The size and position of the breast lump affects:
the amount of tissue removed
the length and site of the incision
SENTINEL LYMPH NODE BIOPSY
This involves removal of one or two lymph glands that receive drainage from the cancerous lump. There are the “sentinel” lymph nodes and the ones most likely to contain cancer cells. The sentinel node is usually identified by lymphoscintigraphy.
Total mastectomy is the removal of the whole breast, including the lump, skin and nipple. Often, lymph glands (nodes) are removed at the same time.
Axillary dissection is the surgical removal of the lymph glands (nodes) from an area of the armpit near the affected breast.
Breast cancer can spread to nearby lymph glands. The glands are removed to:
treat an area of possible cancer spread, and
obtain important information about the breast cancer which helps to determine other possible treatments
RECOVERY AFTER SURGERY
Your surgical wounds will be covered by dressings, which are usually waterproof which can, with care, be showered over. A drain tube may be inserted at the operation site. Adequate rest is important. Your surgeon will advise you when you will be able to resume your normal daily activities.