Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
There are no real alternatives to mastectomy. Surgical requirement is clear since mastectomy is recommended for tumors with dimensions over 2 in (5 cm). Additional treatment (adjuvant) is typically recommended with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy...
to destroy any remaining cancer during surgery. Modified radical mastectomy is one of the standard treatment recommendations for stage III breast cancer.
Mastectomy or breast removal surgery is the most common treatment for certain types of breast cancer. The various types of mastectomy procedures are described including a modified radical mastectomy and lumpectomy in this narrated animation.
In a modified radical mastectomy, the skin on the breast is cut open (A). The skin is pulled back, and the tumor, lymph nodes, and breast tissue are removed (B and C). The incision is closed (D). (Illustration by GGS Inc.)
In medicine, mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely. Mastectomy is usually done to treat breast cancer; in some cases, women and some men believed to be at high risk of breast cancer have the operation prophylactically, that is, to prevent cancer rather than treat it. It is also the medical procedure carried out to remove breast cancer tissue in males. Alternatively, certain patients can choose to have a wide local excision, also known as a lumpectomy, an operation in which a small volume of breast tissue containing the tumor and some surrounding healthy tissue is removed to conserve the breast. Both mastectomy and lumpectomy are what are referred to as "local therapies" for breast cancer, targeting the area of the tumor, as opposed to systemic therapies such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or immunotherapy.
Modified radical mastectomy: The entire breast tissue is removed along with the axillary contents (fatty tissue and lymph nodes). In contrast to a radical mastectomy, the pectoral muscles are spared.
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