Lumpectomy-Many patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer choose a treatment that will save their breast. This surgery is called a lumpectomy, or partial mastectomy. The goal of the surgery is to remove the breast cancer, as well as a rim of healthy tissue. Lumpectomies can be performed as an outpatient procedure in an ambulatory surgery center or hospital. The surgery can be performed using a local anesthetic with intravenous sedation, a general anesthetic, or a regional anesthetic, depending on patient preference and the recommendations of the surgeon and anesthesiologist.
The goal of the lumpectomy is to remove the cancer, as well as normal tissue around the edge of the lumpectomy specimen, known as a clear margin. If there is cancer involving the edge, or margin, of the specimen on the final pathology report, repeat surgery to remove additional tissue may be required so that clear margins are obtained. In nearly all patients who choose breast conservation therapy, radiation therapy will follow the lumpectomy. In most cases, radiation therapy will be delivered after the surgery.
The long-term survival rates for early-stage breast cancer are the same for patients who choose breast conservation therapy and those who choose mastectomy. The risk of cancer recurring in the treated breast following a lumpectomy is not significantly higher than the risk of recurrence following mastectomy.