Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Overview

Surgery is a common procedure when it comes to treating breast cancer, as the main objective is to remove the cancer cells as much as possible. There are different types of surgery for breast cancer, depending on your medical history and the type and stage of cancer that you are suffering from. The two main types of surgeries are:

  • Lumpectomy, which is also known as partial or segmental mastectomy. This surgery involves removing only that part of the breast where cancer has been detected, along with some normal tissues surrounding it. The portion of breast that is removed depends on factors such as the size and location of the cancerous tumor.
  • Mastectomy, which involves the removal of the entire breast, including all breast tissues and at times even the nearby tissues. In some cases, patients may also undergo double mastectomy, where both the breasts are removed.

Indication

A breast cancer patient may require a surgery in the following conditions:

  • If one is in a locally advanced stage of breast cancer
  • Suffering from Paget’s disease (cancer cells form in/around the nipple)
  • Multiple tumors in different areas of the breast
  • Recurring of the cancer in the breast even after radiation
  • A connective tissue disease such as lupus or scleroderma, where the side effects of radiation cannot be tolerated by the skin
  • The patient is pregnant and radiation may affect the unborn baby

Pre Procedure

The following preparations need to be taken before undergoing a surgery for breast cancer:

  • Have a detailed discussion with your surgeon as well as your anaesthetist regarding the complete procedure of the surgery. You can ask questions to your doctor and clear your doubts, if you have any.
  • If you wish to have a breast reconstruction at the same time, you will also have to meet and discuss the same with your plastic surgeon before the surgery
  • Inform your doctor regarding the medicines, supplements and the vitamins that you are taking
  • Discontinue taking medicines that may increase the risk of bleeding in the course of the surgery, like blood thinners and aspirin
  • You have to stop eating or drinking anything 8-12 hours prior to the surgery. Your doctor will instruct you in this matter.

During Procedure

The surgery is normally performed by administering general anaesthesia. An incision is made around the affected breast. The tumor and the surrounding tissues are then removed. There are different procedures by which the surgery can be performed:

  • Axillary node dissection where several lymph nodes are removed from the armpit on the side where the tumor was located
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy where only one or two lymph nodes are removed and then tested if they have cancerous cells in them
  • Total mastectomy which involves removing of the entire breast
  • Skin-sparing mastectomy where all the breast tissue, nipple and areola are removed but not the breast skin
  • Subcutaneous mastectomy, which is removal of the breast tissue only, and not the skin, nipple and areola

Once the surgery is completed, the incision is stitched back that gets dissolved or has to be removed later. There may be plastic tubes placed in the surgical area for draining any fluid that may accumulate post surgery. The tubes will be sewn in place, with the other ends being attached to a small-sized drainage bag.

Post Procedure

After the completion of the surgery, you will be shifted to the bed and your pulse, breathing and blood pressure will be monitored by your doctors. There will be a dressing over your surgery site. You may feel numb, pain or a pinching sensation in your underarm area. You will be prescribed pain medications for it.

Before you are discharged from the hospital, you will be provided proper instructions regarding care at home, how to take care of your incision and drainage, recognising and informing your doctor if you see any sign of infection. There may also be some restrictions in your daily activities initially. You can also consult your doctors to have a clear knowledge when you can resume wearing a bra or breast prosthesis.

Risk & Complication

A breast cancer surgery can have the following risk or complications:

  • Bleeding from the incision site
  • Infection in the area of surgery
  • Temporary swelling
  • Pain and stiffness of the shoulder
  • Hard scar tissue formation at the surgical site
  • Hematoma, where there is a build-up of blood in the site of the surgery
  • A feeling of numbness, especially under the arm, if the lymph nodes have been removed
  • Change in the appearance and shape of the breast, especially if a large portion has been removed.

More Info

You will have to go for follow-up appointments so that the doctors can monitor your progress of recovery after the surgery. You may have to go for radiation therapy if the tumor was a large one, there were several lymph nodes that were cancerous, if the cancer had spread in the nipple or skin, or there are any cancer cells remaining even after the surgery. In case your cancer is found to be sensitive to chemotherapy, you can discuss other modes of treatment like hormone therapy with your oncologist. Apart from that, involving yourself with a counsellor or support group can help you recover fast emotionally. A healthy lifestyle with good food habits, along with cutting off tobacco and alcohol, will ensure a faster recovery and a healthy life ahead.

The cost of a breast cancer surgery may be approximately Rs. 3, 23,350 – Rs. 4,52,700.

Popular Health Tips

4 Signs Of Heart Attack in Women!

Dr. Sunil Beniwal 88% (50 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Cardiology
Cardiologist, Jaipur
4 Signs Of Heart Attack in Women!
Women, who have been thinking that cardiac diseases are something that doesn t need much attention, then you have tragically mistaken. As a matter of fact, these are the diseases which most women aren t too aware of. However, it is affecting a lot of women all over the world. The most common issue in cardiology, particularly among women is a heart attack. The first thing that we should know is that Cardiovascular diseases like heart attack are killing as many women as men. Studies show that women are suffering from heart attack three times more than that of breast cancer. The main reason that creates this higher toll is that the disease may be different in women. However, in the case of men, it stays more localised. In the case of women, the disease is diffused and spread out, but it can be treated. You cannot seek immunity only through pills: We should be aware of the fact that pills will help you to curb the chance of having a heart attack, but again doctors claim that the risk does hike quite significantly after the menopause in women. The pills in such case can create various side effects and eventually trigger more cardiac diseases. The formation of clots in blood are created by different kinds of hormonal contraception, which is the main reason for a potential heart attack in women. Heart attack symptoms in women: We all know that the classic heart attack symptoms include severe pressure on the chest and extreme chest pain. However, these symptoms can be quite subtle in case of women. So, here we are listing down 4 of the most common symptoms of heart attack for women and those are: Fatigue Shortness of breath Throat pain and jaw pain Pain in arms may be in one or both If you experience any one of these symptoms even, make sure that you go for a check immediately. Take quicker action as each minute that goes on during a heart attack is creating the death of a heart muscle. Smoking doubles the risk of a heart attack in women According to experts in cardiology, the most important fact that triggers a heart attack in women is smoking, which increases the blood pressure and causes the blood to pile up in your blood vessels, reducing the good HDL cholesterol which clots the blood and eventually results in a heart attack. You must be wondering about the favourable chances of having a heart attack for women. The fifth and final thing to know about a heart attack is that women who are weighing thirty pounds or more have more chances of heart attack.
11 people found this helpful

Are You Aware Of These 9 Common Misconceptions About Cancer?

Dr. Nikunj K Vithalani 92% (12 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, DNB - Surgical Oncology
Oncologist, Surat
Are You Aware Of These 9 Common Misconceptions About Cancer?
Cancer, or the big C, is always in the news. Use any keyword related to cancer, and there is definitely information overload. Also, with more people surviving cancer, there are too many tales to tell. All this leads to misconceptions and myths, leaving people, who are looking for genuine information, completely confused. The following are some common misconceptions. Cancer is a new-age disease: There is reference to cancer in ancient Egyptian and Greek stories, so cancer is definitely not new. However, it is true that the incidence has increased tremendously with the modern lifestyle habits. Food items prevent cancer: There are claims that food items like kale, blueberries, green tea, broccoli, etc., can prevent cancer. It is not true. They do have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but are not helpful in preventing cancer. Acidic diet causes cancer: The body s pH is not determined by the food products that we consume. Neither acidic nor alkaline environment is healthy, and further, the body has its own mechanism to regulate pH; so go ahead and eat what you like. Sugars cause cancer: Sugar, believed to be the main energy source, is required for growth. Since cancer is linked to uncontrolled growth, it is believed that more sugar leads to more cancer. This again is a false notion, as there is no connection between the two. Screening is only for breast cancer: Agreed, breast cancer is easy to screen for, but any person with predisposition can go for periodic screening to help in early identification and intervention. Cancer medicines kill more than they cure: Whether it is chemotherapy or radiation, they do not pick only the cancer cells. When directed at a body part, the radiation affects the entire area. Chemotherapy targets and controls growth of a lot of normal processes, thereby affecting normal life. There is no cure for cancer: It is not a simple process. Curing cancer involves multiple facets some of which may not be known or unearthed. While there are some stories, which talk about how they conquered cancer completely, there are a greater number of failures. Do not conclude on either side. Each person and each type of cancer is treated differently. Tight undergarments are not connected to cancer: As popularly advertised, tight underwear and underwired bras do not cause testicular or breast cancer. Biopsies spread cancer: This is a misconception. Most people are scared to get a biopsy as they perceive that it may spread the cancerous cells to normal areas. This is just a short list, and there are far too many false notions. Check with your doctor to validate the information before using it to take any decision.
2 people found this helpful

Common Gynaecological Cancers - What Are They & How They Can Be Prevented?

Dr. Chandrakanth Mv 90% (99 ratings)
MBBS, MD(General Medicine), Fellowship Hemato - Oncology (Hemat-Oncology), DM(Medical Oncology), DNB(Medical Oncology)
Oncologist, Kolkata
Common Gynaecological Cancers - What Are They & How They Can Be Prevented?
Women related cancer: Prevention and Treatment With the modernization of all economies around the world, one health hazard that has become one of the largest perils within both developed and developing nations is the incidence of cancers of the female reproductive system, especially cervical and breast cancer. Breast cancer Breast cancer is the formation of malignant tumors within the breast tissues of a woman. Usually, breast cancer affects women in the age range of 40 to 50, but there have been many reports of it occurring earlier. About 48 % percent of the Indian women having breast cancer have been reported to be under 50. This is an almost 17 percent jump compared to figures 25 years earlier. Alarming Signs of Breast Cancer: - The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass. A painless, hard mass that has irregular edges is more likely to be cancerous, but breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded. - Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no distinct lump is felt) - Skin irritation or dimpling - Breast or nipple pain - Nipple retraction (turning inward) - Redness, scaliness, or thickening of the nipple or breast skin - Nipple discharge (other than breast milk) Screening Guidelines for Breast cancer: - Mammography: US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends mammography once in every 2 year for females between age group 50-75 years. Women with a family history has a benefit of starting at age 40 years. After 75 years there are insufficient evidence of benefit of screening mammography. - Breast Self Examination and annual Clinical examination: breast self examination is easy to learn and and any abnormality should be reported to the oncologist. - For High Risk/ Genetic risk factors: screening should start by age 25 or 10 years earlier of youngest relative affected. Annual mammogram and MRI or Doppler ultrasound alternating at 6 month interval can be considered. Treatment Options: Some of the common treatment options for breast cancers are: Breast conservation surgery - This is where the tumors are removed without cutting out too much of the surrounding breast tissue. Mastectomy - If the cancer has spread too far then large amounts of breast tissue has to be removed along with the tumor to stop its spread any further. Sentinel lymph node Biopsy - it's part of both surgical procedures, it decreases morbidities of lymph node dissection first draining lymph nodes only are removed in patients with clinically negative axilla. If negative on frozen section further axillary dissection is avoided. It avoids the morbidity of complete axillary clearance. Cervical cancer ( Carcinoma Cervix) Cervical cancer is the cancer of the cervix, which is the opening of the uterus and connects the uterus to the vagina. Indian women in particular are susceptible to cervical cancer as more than 1/3rd of the cervical cancer related deaths in the entire world happens here in India, which is about 74000 deaths annually. The leading cause for cervical cancer is HPV or Human Papillomavirus infection, which if left untreated and unchecked will result in cancer. Alarming Signs of Cervical Carcinoma: - Early lesions and precancerous lesions have no symptoms - Abnormal vaginal bleeding such as bleeding after vaginal intercourse, bleeding after menopause, bleeding and spotting between periods or longer/heavier periods - Abnormal vaginal discharge - Pelvic pain - Late stage disease may cause lower extremity swelling, problem with urine and/or stool passage Screening Guidelines: - Cervical cancer screening is most effective screening programme of any cancer disease resulting in significant decrease in mortality from carcinoma cervix - United state preventive services task force (USPSTF) recommend cervical cancer screening starting at age 21 yrs. - Between age 21-30 years cytology recommended at 3 year interval and HPV testing is not recommended. - Between 30-65 years cytology every 3 year or cytology +HPV testing every 5 year. - If previously adequately screened screening can be discontinued after 65 years. - Women with prior total hysterectomy and no CIN can discontinue screening. Apart from breast and cervical cancers, certain other cancers have also reported an alarming increase such as:- Ovarian cancer (Carcinoma Ovary) Starting in the ovaries, diagnosis of this type of cancer is usually delayed due to lack of visible symptoms in the initial stages. About 85% to 90% of ovarian cancers are epithelial ovarian carcinomas. Epithelial ovarian cancers tend to spread to the lining and organs of the pelvis and abdomen (belly) first. This may lead to the buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity (called ascites). As it advances, it may spread to the lung and liver, or, rarely, to the brain, bones, or skin. The main treatments for ovarian cancer are surgery and chemotherapy. Cancer of the endometrium (Carcinoma Endometrium) Endometrium is the lining of the uterine wall and has along with ovarian, uterine and cervical cancer is also increasing in occurrences throughout India and the world. The grade of an endometrial cancer is based on how much the cancer forms glands that look similar to those found in normal, healthy endometrium. - Grade 1 tumors have 95% or more of the cancerous tissue forming glands. - Grade 2 tumors have between 50% and 94% of the cancerous tissue forming glands. - Grade 3 tumors have less than half of the cancerous tissue forming glands. Grade 3 cancers tend to be aggressive and have a poorer outlook than lower-grade cancers. Treatment Options: Cervical cancer along with Ovarian, uterine and endometrial cancer can be treated using the following methods: 1. Surgery: Radical Hysterectomy primarily preferred option for early stage disease. Both open and minimal invasive approaches are suitable. - For precancer high grade lesion conisation is also option for compliant patient. - In young suitable patient willing for childbearing trachelectomy is also possible in very early lesion. - Depending on risk factors after surgery adjuvant treatment may be advised. 2. Radiation therapy or Combined Radiation therapy+Chemotherapy: Alternative to surgery in early stage and choice in late stage. Prevention: Certain prevention techniques that would be advisable to detect cancer in its early stages would be, - Regular Pap smear tests for cervical cancer - Taking vaccines for cervical cancer - Regular mammograms and checkups for breast cancer - Changing lifestyles to reduce stress - Changes in diet to reduce risks - Leading a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise
4 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Important Things You Must Be Aware Of!

Dr. Sunita Chavan 88% (215 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Gorakhpur
Breast Cancer - Important Things You Must Be Aware Of!
Breast cancer begins when cells in the breast start to get out of control. These cells are mostly in the form of a tumor that can be regularly seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. The tumor is dangerous (malignant) if the cells attack the surrounding tissues or spread to far off zones in the body. Breast cancer happens mostly in women, yet men can get it, as well. This is how breast cancer can spread: Bosom cancer can spread through the lymph framework The lymph framework includes lymph nodes, lymph vessels, and lymph liquid found all throughout the body Lymph nodes are little, bean-shaped accumulations of immune system cells that are connected by lymph (or lymphatic) vessels. Lymph vessels resemble little veins, with the exception of that they transport a liquid called lymph (rather than blood) far from the breast Lymph contains tissue liquid, waste items, and immune system cells. Breast cancer cells can enter lymph vessels and start to develop into lymph nodes A large portion of the lymph vessels of the breast deplete into the: Lymph nodes under the arm (axillary hubs) Lymph nodes around the neck bone (supraclavicular and infraclavicular lymph hubs) Lymph nodes inside the neck close to the breast bone (inner mammary lymph hubs) Following are some of the causes of breast cancer: Hormones play a part in creating breast cancer disease; however exactly how this happens is not completely known Ordinary breast cells get to be distinctly carcinogenic in view of changes (transformations) in DNA Yet, most DNA changes identified with breast cancer are gained in breast cells during a woman s life as opposed to having been acquired Qualities that accelerate cell division are called oncogenes Tumor silencer qualities are typical qualities that back off cell division, repair DNA oversights, or advise cells when to bite the dust Certain acquired DNA transformations (changes) can drastically increase chances for building up specific growths and are in charge of a large number of tumors that keep running in few families Some of the treatments of breast cancer include: Health alterations: Body weight, physical action, and eating routine are all connected to breast tumor, so these may be territories where you can make a move. Restorative alternatives for women at expanded hazard: For women who have certain hazard components for breast growth, for example, a family history; various restorative alternatives may counteract breast cancer. Medications to lessen hazard: For women at expanded danger of breast cancer, medications, for example, tamoxifen and raloxifene, can reduce the hazard. However, these medications can have their own dangers and symptoms. Preventive surgery: In case that you have a solid family history of breast cancer, you can talk with your specialist about hereditary testing. This test addresses changes in qualities that increase the danger of breast cancer; for example, the BRCA qualities. In case you have a hereditary change from a family with a transformation, however, have not been tried, you could consider surgery to bring down your danger of tumor.
4569 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - Is Surgery The Best Option?

Dr. Anand Narayan 90% (75 ratings)
MD - Oncology
Oncologist, Coimbatore
Breast Cancer - Is Surgery The Best Option?
Treatment for breast cancer depends on the type of cancer, hormone sensitivity, size, grade and stage of cancer. A doctor considers the overall health of the patient and the patient s individual preference before recommending a treatment plan. While there are many treatments options available for breast cancer, surgery is by far the most popular option for most patients. Along with surgery, some other treatments that a patient undergoes include radiation, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. Surgery options Lumpectomy: This is a procedure wherein the surgeon cuts the tumour and removes some of the surrounding healthy tissue in order to ensure that cancer does not spread to the healthy cells after the surgery. This procedure is applicable for small tumours. Mastectomy: This is a procedure in which all tissues of the breast are removed. This includes lobules, fatty tissue, ducts, areola, and nipple. In a skin-sparing mastectomy, all of the breast skin, except the nipple and the areola, is preserved, which makes the reconstruction process easier. Sentinel node biopsy: Since the sentinel lymph nodes are the first place that cancer is likely to spread, a doctor might suggest a sentinel node biopsy if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. If no trace of a cancer cell is found in the nodes, it is unlikely that any more nodes need to be removed. Removal of breasts: Many women who have cancer in one breast often choose to remove both the breasts in order to avoid the risk of cancer spreading. While a family history of breast cancer can greatly increase the chance of breast cancer in a woman, statistics show that most women who have cancer in one breast do not develop cancer in the other one. Radiation: This is a process where a high-powered beam of energy is directed at the cancer cells to kill them. This method is often used after a lumpectomy. Radiations are of two types external beam and brachytherapy. Some side effects of this treatment include fatigue, hair fall, loss of appetite and rashes. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer by cytotoxic and other drugs. This is often recommended by doctors when there is a good chance of the cancer cells spreading to other locations of the body. This form of treatment is often recommended before the surgery to shrink a tumour or restrict the growth of cells. Hormone therapy: Hormonal therapy is used to treat cancers that have hormonal sensitivity. They can be used before or after the surgery in order to ensure that cancer does not reoccur. Some of the treatment methods in this section include medication that restricts hormones from getting attached to the cancer cells, medications that restrict the body to produce oestrogen post-menopause and a medication that destroys cancer receptors.
1952 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

My sister is suffering from breast cancer in u.s.a and treatment is going on with chemotherapy and side effects of chemotherapy is very danger please advice me what to do.

Masters In Counselling & Psychotherapy, DGO, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
I am sorry to know that your sister is having breast cancer. I can understand that side effects of Chemotherapy can be v troublesome. However it is important to take treatment as per Dr's advice. Please inform the treating Dr. About her symptoms. They will give her the needful advice and medications to relieve her symptoms. I wish your sister speedy recovery. All the best to you.
1 person found this helpful

What are the treatment options for treating triple negative breast cancer related pleural effusion? Is it curable? What is the life span for such patients?

Dr. Shilpy Dolas 90% (115 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, FBD (Fellowship in Breast Diseases), UICC Fellowship
Oncologist, Pune
Triple negative Breast cancer is an aggressive variety of breast cancer. If pleural fluid tapping report is positive for cancer cells or not? Depending on that staging will be decided. Triple negative Breast cancer respond good to chemotherapy. Life span is not decided according to the type of tumor. It varies patient to patient, depends o their co- morbidities, their response to treatment and few more things.
1 person found this helpful

I have simple hepatic cyst about 4 to 5 cm and also I am related to cancer (because my mother had breast cancer). So will I suspect to it or not?

Dr. Sajeev Kumar 88% (23087 ratings)
C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
A cyst is not cancer and you seem to be frightened due to your mother's case. You can examine the cyst to know its real nature.

My wife is on tamoxifen after chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer treatment .Even after six years the doctor wants her to continue with tamoxifen .Is it needed.

Dr. Shilpy Dolas 90% (115 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, FBD (Fellowship in Breast Diseases), UICC Fellowship
Oncologist, Pune
Yes. It is ok to take. As she is on tamoxifen that means she is ER, PR positive. According to newer studies these patients can take tamoxifen for 8-10 years to block above receptors.
1 person found this helpful

What are the symptoms of breast cancer. At what age it starts? Can a lump or red rashes lead to it?

Dr. Girish Dani 88% (2504 ratings)
MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FCPS, DGO, Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning (DFFP)
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Lump or red rashes dont lead to cancer but out of some symptoms these can be also. Mainly swelling, mass, change in shape of breasts or nipples, discharge from nipples, swelling in armpits etc.

Health Quizzes

Breast Cancer Risk Factors!!

Dr. Sajjan Rajpurohit 85% (37 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Oncology, DNB - Super Speciality, Immuno Oncology
Oncologist, Delhi
Being obese and sitting around for too long will increase the risk of breast cancer. True or False? Take this quiz to know more.
Start Quiz
8 people took this quiz

Breast Cancer - Prevention and Cure!

Dr. Dinesh Singh 89% (60 ratings)
MBBS, MD-Radio Therapy
Oncologist, Ghaziabad
Screening for breast cancer can help in prevention and cure. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
Start Quiz
7 people took this quiz

Breast Cancer - Is There A Hope In Homeopathy?

Dr. Deepanjli 89% (489 ratings)
Punjabi University, DHMS (Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery), NDDY(Naturopathy and Yoga)
Homeopath, Mohali
Vomiting is a definite side effect of chemotherapy. True or False? Take this quiz and find out.
Start Quiz
6 people took this quiz

Breast Cancer - How Homeopathy Can Cure It?

Dr. Sonali Sawale 89% (35 ratings)
MD, BHMS
Homeopath, Navi Mumbai
Homeopathy can treat the lumps in the breast that become hard and change positions. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
Start Quiz
4 people took this quiz

Breast Cancer - Can Homeopathy Cure It?

Dr. Sonali Bhonsle 84% (11 ratings)
Fellowship In Advanced Homeopathy, P.G.Hom.(London), P.G.Dietetics
Homeopath, Pune
Homeopathy can treat the lumps in the breast that become hard and change positions. True or False. Take this quiz to know now!
Start Quiz
5 people took this quiz

Popular Health Packages

ENQUIRE
15 Days validity  •  Medicines included
₹3200
ENQUIRE
60 Days validity  •  Medicines included
₹6000
ENQUIRE
60 Days validity  •  Medicines included
₹4000
ENQUIRE
40 Days validity  •  Medicines included
₹6500
ENQUIRE
30 Days validity  •  Medicines included
₹31000