How do I decide which surgery is right for me for breast cancer?

Work with you doctor. This depends on the type of tumor, the size and if there is spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of body. The options: lumpectomy or mastectomy. I recommend you meet with a breast surgeon and a plastic surgeon to explore all your options. A 2nd opinion may be helpful. Make sure you have doctors who take time to explain in terms that you understand. Take a family member or friend with you.
Know your options. Make sure you know all your options particularly breast conservation versus mastectomy as well as the pros and cons for each in your particular situation. Your breast surgeon should be able to make a medical/technical recommendation but other factors often figure in as well and are important (piece of mind is hugely important). Work with a breast surgeon with special interest & expertise in breast.
Know Your Facts. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer have the option of either undergoing mastectomy (with or w/o reconstruction) or lumpectomy; if the latter is chosen, radiation therapy must be given as well. Most importantly, the chance for cure is equal regardless of surgical rx. Most women opt for lump-x since it is much less invasive; however, some prefer mast-x to reduce the chance of recurrence.
TALK WITH DOC. First of all, make sure that the surgeon that you are seeing specializes in breast cancer. (check the society of surgical oncology website) if not seek a second opinion. You may want to talk with medical and radiation oncologists while you are making your decision and may want to talk with a plastic surgeon if mastectomy is being considered. Don't rush. Take as much time as you need.

Related Questions

What is a auxiliary clearance for surgery for breast cancer?

Are you sure it. Isn't axillary? Today we sample a sentinel node in the arm pit, aka axilla, and "clearance" done less commonly due to risk of lymphedema. Read more...
Axillary. Axilla is the armpit region. Axillary clearance means removing all the lymph nodes under the arm. Sentinel lymph node surgery, to remove isolated identified lymph nodes, is more common. If there is a finding of breast cancer spread to multiple lymph nodes, then axillary clearance may be indicated. Read more...

Can the stage breast cancer be determined before or after surgery?

Before or After. Breast cancer can be discovered on physical examination or radiologic testing. However, to prove that a cancer is there, usually a needle biopsy is done before surgery. Rarely, they will procede with surgery first. Read more...

What's my chance of surviving breast cancer with each type of surgery?

It depends. In general, survival from breast cancer depends on a multitude of other factors not just the type of surgery. However, if all other things are the same, the type of surgery does not seem to matter much. Studies have proven that a mastectomy (complete removal of the breast) achieves equivalent cancer outcomes to a lumpectomy plus radiation (removal of just the cancer followed by radiation). Read more...
It depends. Survival data or prognosis is very dependent on stage of the cancer and the response to each tumor by therapy. In general the type of surgery mastectomy versus a lumpectomy when coupled with radiation therapy does not influence the survival. Read more...
It depends. Days of more surgery means better survival are long gone. Survival is dependent on multidisciplinary treatments including radiotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted theapy. Read more...
It Depends. For early stage breast cancer, there is no difference in survival whether you have a mastectomy or a lumpectomy. But you are more likely to have cancer come back in your breast after a lumpectomy, which would require further surgery (usually a mastectomy). 1 in 12 women have breast cancer return in the breast within 10 years after a lumpectomy + radiation. Read more...

I have breast cancer in my family. Should I have surgery to remove my healthy breasts?

Ask GeneticCounselor. Most women overestimate their family risk of breast cancer--this is best determined by genetic counseling followed by brca testing (the gene responsible for many hereditary breast cancers). If brca+, prophylactic mastectomy (+/-reconstruction) is a very popular option yet it may be too drastic for others. These operations are never emergencies--gather all facts and research what's best for you. Read more...
Complex question. Depends on many variables, in particular who in the family developed breast cancer, what age, was it bilateral? Any fam history of ovarian, uterine, or colon cancer. Seek out a genetic counselor or a high risk breast specialist. After a detailed history they may recommend genetic testing, surgery, or medication - or if your risk is low enough, maybe nothing. High risk women should get mri. Read more...

Supposing you have breast cancer and get the surgery to remove your breast does the cancer go away?

Well, a. Mastectomy may or may not be curative. The is dependent on a number of issues. According to the american cancer society the 5 year relative survival rate for stage 1 is 100%, stage ii- 93%, stage iii is 72% and stage IV is 22%. Read more...

Can you tell me about breast cancer surgery?

Vital. Breast cancer is a surgical disease under most circumstances. Surgical choices include lumpectomy (removing the cancer) followed by radiation vs. Mastectomy (removing the whole breast) vs. Bilateral mastectomies (removing both breasts). Each of those options has its merits and indications. Both the doc and the patient should have a say in that choice. Read more...

Can you tell me about breast cancer reconstructive surgery?

Yes. Several types of operations can be used to reconstruct your breast. Use of breast implants or your own tissue flap or a combination of both. Read more...