A lumpectomy is a surgery that removes breast cancer while preserving the breast. A lumpectomy attempts to leave the breast looking as close to the original as possible. During this surgery, your doctor will remove the tumor and any surrounding tissue that has been affected. You will likely need radiation therapy after a lumpectomy to prevent recurrent cancer and to destroy any remaining cancer cells. This procedure is recommended for patients with a less invasive form of cancer. If cancer has spread throughout the breast or if the tumor is too large, doctors may recommend a mastectomy.
Mastectomy is the removal of the whole breast. There are five different types of mastectomy: “simple” or “total” mastectomy, modified radical mastectomy, radical mastectomy, partial mastectomy, and subcutaneous (nipple-sparing) mastectomy. The mastectomy provides the most peace of mind. Removing the entire breast has a greater chance in preventing recurrent breast cancer, and lowers the risk of needing additional surgeries. People who have a mastectomy typically do not need radiation therapy, which can be time consuming and painful.