Frequently Asked Questions
27. What is involved in breast-conserving surgery?
There are two types of breast-conserving surgery -- lumpectomy and partial mastectomy.
- Lumpectomy is the removal of the tumor and a small amount of normal tissue around it. A woman who has a lumpectomy almost always has radiation therapy as well. Most surgeons also take out some of the lymph nodes under the arm.
- Partial or segmental mastectomy is removal of the cancer, some of the breast tissue around the tumor, and the lining over the chest muscles below the tumor. Often, surgeons remove some of the lymph nodes under the arm. In most cases, radiation therapy follows.
(Watch the video and hear Jane Brody, New York Times reporter, talk about her experience with breast cancer. To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)