Breast Cancer

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.