If you have breast cancer, you’re probably feeling a wide range of emotions – including fear. It’s natural to be afraid of cancer, and to worry you might lose a breast.
But you can also feel hopeful. Most women survive breast cancer. And if your cancer was caught early, you may be a candidate for “breast-conserving surgery” (also known as lumpectomy).
A lumpectomy is a type of breast surgery. It goes by many names, including partial mastectomy, wide local excision and quadrantectomy. No matter what you call it, the goal is the same: to remove your cancer, while keeping as much of your breast as possible.
During the procedure, your surgeon will cut out the tumor plus a small amount of surrounding tissue. He or she may also need to remove lymph nodes from under your arm. Usually, most of the skin covering your breast (including your nipple and areola) will remain intact. Your doctor will let you know if it's necessary to remove your nipple and areola. In this case, you may be able to have them restored with breast reconstruction surgery.
You may be eligible for a lumpectomy if you meet several criteria, including:
Research has shown that having a lumpectomy with radiation is just as effective as having your breast removed (mastectomy).
Your Mercy care team will make sure you understand what to expect before, during and after lumpectomy surgery. For example:
If you’re nervous about your cancer treatments, you’re not alone. But you can take comfort knowing Mercy is by your side. We’ll provide the support and encouragement you need to get through your lumpectomy, recovery and beyond.