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The Art of Breast Conservation

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Shealy Register
The Art of Breast Conservation

In the past, the gold standard for breast cancer care was the mastectomy (surgery that removes the entire breast). However, now, the preferred treatment plan for women with early-stage breast cancer is a lumpectomy (surgery that conserves the breast). 

"In breast-conserving surgery, the tumor and some surrounding healthy tissues are removed but not the entire breast itself," said Cianna Pender, MD, FACS, general and breast surgeon at Archbold. "We try to leave as much normal breast as possible, but we may remove some surrounding lymph nodes for biopsy. Breast-conserving surgery is a great option for women with early-stage breast cancer."

Why Lumpectomy? 

For women who are concerned about losing a breast or would like their breasts to match as much as possible, the breast-conserving surgery allows them to keep much of their breast. 

"For most women, a lumpectomy provides the best cosmetic result," Dr. Pender said. "How much of the breast we remove depends on the size of the tumor, but in most women, the surgery leaves behind a small scar and/or dimple where we removed the tumor." 

Lumpectomies are also minimally invasive, which means less pain and a shorter recovery time. 

After a lumpectomy, most women will need radiation therapy to make sure the cancer is gone. 

Who Can Have A Lumpectomy

Breast-conserving surgery is a great option for women who:

  • Do not have a BRCA or ATM gene mutation
  • Do not want to lose a breast
  • Have early-stage breast cancer
  • Have only one small area of cancer in the breast
  • Have not already been treated with radiation therapy

Other unique factors may prevent you from being eligible for breast-conserving surgery. Speak with your healthcare provider to see if a lumpectomy is an option for you.

Screening Guidelines

When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is essential for successful treatment. Types of breast cancer screening include a clinical breast exam and mammogram. A woman at high risk for breast cancer may also have a breast MRI. 

A mammogram is the most effective way to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages. The test uses X-ray technology to identify abnormal breast tissue that could be cancerous. 

The American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging recommend that annual mammograms begin at age 40.

Schedule your annual mammogram at Archbold Women's Center. Call 229.394.0060.