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Doctor insights on: Breast Cancer Removed Lumpectomy Therapy

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If my breast cancer has been completely removed after lumpectomy, do I still need radiation therapy?

If my breast cancer has been completely removed after lumpectomy, do I still need radiation therapy?

Yes: Yes. When performing a lumpectomy, our goal is to remove all of the tumor and a rim of normal breast tissue; the pathologist will describe this as "clear margins". However, if radiation therapy(rt) is not given, cancer may grow back in that area of the breast as often as 25% of the time. Following rt, the local recurrence rate is below 5%. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
1,337 doctors shared insights

Breast Cancer (Definition)

Breast cancer results when glandular cells lining the milk ducts and lobules of the human breast begin to grow in an unregulated manner. The growth occurs initially inside the ducts but eventually breaks outside into the breast tissue and ultimately spreads both to the lymph nodes in the armpit and via the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Because of the promoting affect of estrogen almost all breast cancer occurs in women and is a rarity in men. The unregulated growth is due to both inherited and acquired genetic defects. It is the most common malignancy in women but it often curable if found early and treated effectively with surgery, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy, or a combination thereof. Early detection before the malignancy becomes large enough to be felt depends on mammography/sonography and MRI imaging of the breast ...Read more


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I'm a 49 year old, chinese, menopausal woman. I got a lumpectomy done for a dcis interme grade. It was noninvasive. I have completed 6 weeks of radiation therapy.I have no previous history of breast cancer. Is tamoxifenrequired?

I'm a 49 year old, chinese, menopausal woman. I got a lumpectomy done for a dcis interme grade. It was noninvasive. I have completed 6 weeks of radiation therapy.I have no previous history of breast cancer. Is tamoxifenrequired?

Not required but: It is an option. It can help reduce the chance of the dcis coming back, as well as the risk of a new, second cancer in the future. But these risks are low and tamoxifen has its own risks and side effects. You should discuss the pros and cons with a medical oncologist. ...Read more

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What are statistical odds for cancer returning in a 63 yr old woman 20 yrs after treatment for stage 1 breast cancer (lumpectomy, chemo, & radiation)?

What are statistical odds for cancer returning in a 63 yr old woman 20 yrs after treatment for stage 1 breast cancer (lumpectomy, chemo, & radiation)?

Low, but not zero.: First of all, congratulations on being a 20-yr survivor! it is impossible to give you a number or even a range without knowing more specifics about your cancer, however, the fact that it hasn't returned in 20 years certainly puts you in favorable statistical category. I suggest that you meet with your medical oncologist to discuss this, as well as any measures you can take to prevent a recurrence. ...Read more

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Is tamoxifen safe and can I take it? I am a 67-year-old white female living alone. Last year i had early catch stage-1 breast cancer. I next had a lumpectomy and only one treatment of chemotherapy. I was scheduled for four treatments. The side affects

Is tamoxifen safe and can I take it? I am a 67-year-old white female living alone.  Last year i had early catch stage-1 breast cancer.  I next had a lumpectomy and only one treatment of chemotherapy.  I was scheduled for four treatments.  The side affects

If : If your breast cancer was estrogen receptor-negative then you will not benefit from hormonal adjuvant therapy like tamoxifen (actually women who are past their menopause should be on Arimidex (anastrozole) not tamoxifen) either way you will not benefit from those since your mass is estrogen receptor negative. At 67 you should probably still get radiation as you still have a long life ahead of you...Especially with stage 1 cancer. You have to discuss these options with a breast surgeon... ...Read more

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How soon after lumpectomy does radiation begin? How long is radiation treatment if stage 1 ductal breast cancer or dcis?

How soon after lumpectomy does radiation begin? How long is radiation treatment if stage 1 ductal breast cancer or dcis?

Depends on RX : We usually begin brachytherapy within 3 weeks after surgery (duration: 5 days). External beam rt usually begins within 6 weeks (assuming chemo unnecessary) and may last 4-7 weeks depending on the protocol. ...Read more

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After a lumpectomy for stage 1 breast cancer, will a doctor always assign that you get radiation treatment, or does it depend on the patient?

After a lumpectomy for stage 1 breast cancer, will a doctor always assign that you get radiation treatment, or does it depend on the patient?

Usually yes: Most of the time rdiation treatment is needed to provide comparable longterm survival benefit in comparison to mastectomy. In women over 70 years old and if the cancer is esterogen receptor positive, endocrine therapy may be substitued with satisfactory results. You need to talk with your surgeon, medical oncologist as well a radiation oncologist to see what your particular cirmumstance will be. ...Read more

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Is radiation treatment always necessary? As in, after a lumpectomy for stage 1 breast cancer, will a doctor always assign that you get radiation treatment, or does it depend on the patient?

Is radiation treatment always necessary? As in, after a lumpectomy for stage 1 breast cancer, will a doctor always assign that you get radiation treatment, or does it depend on the patient?

Yes: A lumpectomy alone is insufficient rx for invasive breast cancer; radiation therapy is always necessary to lower the risk of local recurrence, except under unusual circumstances (ie, elderly pt w/small tumor& very poor health). Dcis (stage 0) may sometimes be treated by lumpectomy alone, depending on unique patient & tumor characteristics. ...Read more

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For a 5mm intraductal breast cancer with 1mm of invasion, taken at lumpectomy and then a mastectomy performed, how many lymphs should be removed?

For a 5mm intraductal breast cancer with 1mm of invasion, taken at lumpectomy and then a mastectomy performed, how many lymphs should be removed?

It depends: The current standard is to perform a sentinel lymph node biopsy; if (+), additional nodes are removed (unless radiation therapy planned, which would not be the case with this minimal tumor). The median number of sentinel nodes people have are 2-3, however some have 1, others can have many more--this does not reflect the tumor but rather the way the breast drains towards the armpit. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
4,223 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


Dr. Regina Hampton
182 doctors shared insights

Lumpectomy (Definition)

A lumpectomy means removal of a breast lump. It frequently is used in relation to removal of breast cancer. However it can be generalized to removal of other lumps or imaging abnormalities also. Other terminology such as excision, wide excision or a partial mastectomy usually may mean the same thing. If it is done for breast cancer frequently it needs to be ...Read more