If a woman is being treated for breast cancer, are her breasts most often removed?

Not necessarily. Whether or not a mastectomy is recommended depends on many factors to include breast cancer type and stage.
No. We surgeons work very hard to preserve a woman's breasts. The standard of care for an early stage breast cancer is a lumpectomy, which means removal of the cancer with preservation of the rest of the breast, followed by radiation treatment and possible adjuvant hormonal therapy.

Related Questions

What happens if a woman had to have her breast removed, due to breast cancer, could she keep her nipple?

It may be. Possible, but best to discuss this with your breast surgeon.
In some cases. Some women can have a skin and nipple sparing mastectomy. It depends on the size, stage & location of the breast cancer. It also requires a very knowledgeable surgical team with a breast cancer surgeon & a plastic surgeon working together.
Poosible. Depends if it can be saved and used. Discuss with the surgeon who is in the best position to answer this question.

If breasts are removed due to breast cancer, can a woman get new breasts via an implant?

Yes. Yes. Typically a bag will be put in under the muscle at the time of the breast removal (mastectomy) and then salt water put into the breast every week until you get to the size you want. Then the bag (expander) is taken out and a saline or silicone implant is put in.
Implant - yes. Implant reconstruction is commonly done for breast cancer. It is sometimes done at the time of mastectomy. Not sure what you mean by new breasts. Once removed, you will not have breast function (lactation, nipple changes...) even with the best reconstruction.
Yes. Yes they can. There are also other techniques where tissue from different parts of the body are used to reconstruct the breasts.

What options do I have for construction after breast cancer removal surgery? I am a woman in my mid 30s diagnosed with left breast cancer and treated with total removal of my left breast. What options do I have for symmetry again? How many operations do w

I. I am a breast augmentation expert but not a breast reconstruction expert. You, of course, realize that you might have the option of an implant (may require initial tissue expansion) or of a tissue flap. One issue that you should consider is fat transfer. I know that least one sub-specialized microvascular reconstruction expert that only uses fat transfer - he has abandoned his previous surgical training. One doctor that is a fat transfer expert is mario diana in san antonio. Goodluck!
The. The most common procedure is to place a tissue expander on the side of the mastectomy. The tissue is then expanded to equal the other side. Soemtimes the other side may sag or droop and we do a breast lift to create symmetry and on occasion we also augment that side as well. There are a lot of optionsavailable and insurance will pay for this.
Very. Very hard over the internet to offer the correct options in reconstruction and contralateral surgery for the breast symmetry. Options include; tissue expander, lats flap from back, tram flap, microsurgery flap, newest option is fat grafts. For the other breast and reduction, implant, or lift. If you like call my office to set up an appointment 305 598 0091 regards dr, b.
Mastectomy. What you are describing would involve a delayed breast reconstruction since it is after the mastectomy has been performed it it has been allowed to heal. From description I do not know whether or not you had radiation treatment after your mastectomy. If you had radiation treatment then I recommend your own tissue through the use of flap surgery or fat grafting. Expander if no radiation in past!

Is alloderm with a tissue expander recommended at the time that my breast cancer tumor is removed? I am a 40-year-old woman diagnosed with right breast cancer. I do want to have the same size breasts again after treatment for breast cancer. Is preparation

It. It sounds like you have decided to have a mastectomy (removal of the entire breast) rather than a lumpectomy with radiation. This is a reasonable choice as both work just as well for curing most early breast cancers. If you have a mastectomy, an immediate reconstruction at the time of the cancer operation can be done. Often this is accomplished by placing a tissue expander that is slowy increased in size to stretch the skin and tissues over the chest and make enough space to put in a new artificial breast implant a few months later. Many plastic surgeons are now using some alloderm over the tissue expander as well to provide a surface for the new skin to grow in and also help get the area to the correct size more easily. I have seen many patients with excellent cosmetic outcomes with this procedure. There is really no special preparation that needs to be done before the operation. The main considerations in deciding whether to proceed with this type of reconstruction or not are: 1) what is the chance that radiation therapy will be needed after surgery? If it is likely that radiation will be necessary the tissue expander reconstruction route can still be done, but you need to discuss the implications of the radiation on the reconstruction with all your doctors. 2) what is the chance that you have a breast cancer susceptibiilty gene that would predispose you to getting a cancer on the other side? Sometimes genetic testing should be done before surgery to help you decide if you should have both breasts removed and get both reconstructed at the same time.
Lots of options. There are a lot of reconstructive options available to you and you should understand what each option entails before finalizing your decision regarding how to be reconstructed. What is your best option will be different from another patient and depends upon your overall health, your body weight and the nature of your opposite breast.

I've read about women with breast cancer in one breast choosing to have both removed.  why would you do that?

Multiple reasons. For many it is a personal decision, they may feel there body failed them and they don't "need them anymore". For those with a gene mutation that puts them at high risk of getting another breast cancer it can substantially reduce their risk. If someone needs a mastectomy on one side they may opt to have both removed for symmetry.
Several reasons. 1. To avoid getting a second cancer in the healthy breast down the road 2. Because she has a brca1/2 mutation which puts her at higher risk for a second breast cancer 3. To have breast reconstruction done on both breasts at the same time 4. To avoid the anxiety and nuisance of mammograms and biopsies in the future.
Risk. This is a decision based on risk. If after counseling, the risk of a future breast cancer is increased due to family history, personal history, or genetic testing, sometimes a prophylactic mastectomy is recommended. Currently it is felt that this is an all too common practice amongst average risk patients.

What could be the cause of a female 69 yr old fall without blacking out female has a stent in her heart for a blockage. Has had 1 heart attack. Has had breast cancer within the last 5 yrs. An had a breast removed an has been tested for heart problems now

We. We just need more information here. If there was loss of consciousness, passing out, seizure disorder is one cause. Low blood pressure is another. A heart irregularity is a third. Too often we do not find the cause for an episode of so called syncope. Ask the doctors to find out what they discover.
Needs more work up. This could be related to her heart and less likely her breast cancer but there are many other causes of a fall without blacking out. Breast cancer is probably the least likely but metastases to the brain can happen and may cause stroke-like symptoms that could cause a fall without passing out. However, this really is unlikely. She needs further work up.