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A mastectomy is surgical removal of a breast. The surgery depends on various factors and choosing a type of mastectomy best suited for an individual suffering from breast cancer requires experience and expertise. With advancing technology, there are more options available for women to opt for surgeries, which are minimally invasive and conserving in nature. Following are the various types of mastectomies and the factors, which influence them:
Types of Mastectomy
1. Total or simple mastectomy
This is a surgical procedure which involves complete removal of the breast including the nipple. The lymph nodes, which are small glands, are an important part of your immune system and are kept intact during the surgery. This form of surgery is most suitable if the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.
2. Preventive mastectomy
Preventive mastectomy, also known as prophylactic mastectomy, is an option for women who have a high risk of developing breast cancer. Preventive mastectomy reduces the risk of breast cancer by a huge margin. In certain cases, removal of the entire breast along with the nipple is advisable. Women who develop cancer on one breast often opt for preventive mastectomy and remove the other unaffected breast as well.
3. Partial mastectomy
Women who are in stage I or stage ii of breast cancer can choose this procedure. It is a breast conserving technique where the tumor is removed along with the tissue that surrounds it. It is followed up by radiation therapy on the remaining breast tissue, which terminates the cancer cells and stops them from spreading. There are two types of partial mastectomy, namely, lumpectomy and quadrantectomy.
4. Radical mastectomy
Although this procedure is almost out of use, it is still considered in case the cancer has spread to certain areas like the chest muscle. In this form of surgery, the breast is removed entirety along with muscles beneath it and the lymph nodes.
5. Modified mastectomy
It is a more commonly used procedure characterized by complete removal of the breast including underarm lymph nodes. The chest muscles are untouched in the procedure, therefore allowing a breast reconstruction to follow.
Factors influencing the type of mastectomy:
• Age of the individual
• Health in general
• Size of the tumor
• The spread of the tumor
• The rate of progression of the tumor
• Whether lymph nodes are affected or not