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Types of Breast Cancer Surgeries

what can i do? information graphic

Welcome once again to our blog here at Second to Nature. Over the next few months, we will raise awareness by discussing a few important issues for our clients. These include the different types of breast cancer surgeries available. Future articles will also explore who to tell about your cancer diagnosis, and choosing the type of surgery that is right for you.

Accordingly, it is our desire to build a culture of understanding through education. To help lay the groundwork, we can start by sharing some enlightenment about breast cancer surgery. Yes, there are a variety of medical procedures available to patients. Let us review some of the most common types.

Surgical Removal and Treatment of Breast Cancer

Clients who receive a breast cancer diagnosis may undergo different types of breast cancer surgeries. Medical professionals use surgical procedures to effectively remove cancerous tumors, cells, and more from the chest and surrounding areas. The doctor may also combine a surgical procedure with another treatment, such as radiation therapy.

It is enlightening to have a general awareness of the types of breast cancer surgeries that clients may face. Each patient’s experience is unique to the type of breast cancer removal or treatment the doctor recommends. Medical professionals provide their patients with full details specific to the type of diagnosis, procedure, and prognosis.

Common Breast Cancer Surgeries

Next, it is important to understand that any type of surgery comes with a certain amount of risk. Doctors and others on the care team will share what patients and their loved ones may expect with the most common types of breast cancer surgeries they perform. Active education and involvement helps to provide more positive outcomes.

Breast cancer surgeries include:

Lumpectomy: This procedure removes a tumor from the breast. A lumpectomy differs from a mastectomy, which removes the entire breast. Women who undergo a lumpectomy are usually recommended to receive radiation following surgery to help prevent recurrence. Some women are candidates for intraoperative radiation therapy. This typically limits the amount of radiation treatments needed after surgery. Commonly referred to as breast conservation therapy, the surgeon will design a lumpectomy coupled with radiation therapy to allow a woman to keep her breast.

Mastectomy: This is the surgical removal of all the breast tissue. If breast conservation therapy is not a viable option, the doctor may recommend mastectomy. Women who have cancer in multiple areas of the breast and/or large tumors relative to the size of the breast are typically recommended to undergo a mastectomy. The cancer specialist may also recommend mastectomy for women with certain genetic mutations (BRCA1 or BRCA2). In many instances, the surgeon will spare much of the breast skin and even the nipple to improve the outcome of reconstruction.

Several Different Types of Mastectomy

For patients undergoing mastectomy, there are several different types of mastectomy:

  • Nipple-sparing mastectomy, which includes removal of the breast tissue only.
  • Skin-sparing mastectomy, which removes the breast tissue along with the nipple and areola.
  • Total (simple) mastectomy, which is a removal of the breast tissue and skin.
  • Modified radical mastectomy, which removes the whole breast, along with the lymph nodes under the arm.

Factors such as breast size, breast shape, type of cancer, and the location of cancer in the breast and/or lymph nodes will determine which type of mastectomy the surgeon will perform. Your breast surgeon will guide you through the decision-making process. They will review options and outcomes for the type of mastectomy procedure appropriate for you. For more information, refer to the American Cancer Society website.

Education Leads to Understanding and Support

We hope that in sharing this important information that it will help educate readers about what they or their loved ones may experience. Remember that each person’s medical journey is a personal matter between them and their healthcare provider. As caring members of the community, we can all share in raising awareness through education.

Like the staff at Second to Nature, many of us can learn a little more every day about the challenges associated with a breast cancer diagnosis. Sharing this type of education better equips us to offer much in the way of support. Embracing this added empathy means so much to patients who must undergo breast cancer surgery.

Contact Second to Nature for After Breast Cancer Fashions

After breast cancer surgery, contact Second to Nature for the post-surgery fashions you need to help with your recovery. We treat each breast cancer patient who comes to Second to Nature as people first, who happen to have the experience of a breast cancer diagnosis. Operating as we do on a person-first basis allows us the freedom and ability to customize the shopping experience for each client.


Second to Nature is conveniently located in the Woodhaven Office Park, at 5450 Peters Creek Road, Roanoke, VA. Call Second to Nature for an appointment at (540) 366-2711 or use our contact form. Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest news and specials.