Written by : Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD
A lumpectomy is a conservative surgical procedure in which the breast cancer and a surrounding part of the normal tissue is removed. The entire breast or the drainng lymph nodes are not removed.
It is also known as partial mastectomy, quadrantectomy, or wedge resection. Technically, a lumpectomy is a partial mastectomy, because, not just the lump but also a part of the normal breast tissue is removed. Quadrantectomy means that a quarter of the breasts (roughly 1/4th ) will be removed.
Lumpectomy is usually followed by radiotherapy or chemotherapy to destroy any remaining cancerous cells. When chemotherapy is given, radiotherapy is started after the chemotherapy is over.
Who is a fit candiate for a Lumpectomy?
Advantages and Disadvantages of Lumpectomy
Lumpectomy has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Lumpectomy
Re-excision Lumpectomy - During lumpectomy, a small area of normal tissue around the lump is also removed. This is then checked under the microscope for cancer cells. If no cancer cells are detected, this is noted as clear margins and radiotherapy can be started. Clear margins mean that the tissue farthest away from the breast tumor was free of any cancer cells.
But if cancer cells are detected in the normal tissue, a second lumpectomy , called 'Re-excision lumpectomy', may be performed to remove the tissue with cancer cells and a larger normal area around the operated area.
Types of Breast Cancer
Diagnosis of Breast Cancer