Frequently Asked Questions
1. What you need to know about lumpectomy?
Lumpectomy, wide local excision used as part of a treatment plan for breast cancer. It is called breast conserving surgery. During lumpectomy, only the part of the breast that has cancer is removed. The cancer lump and some breast tissue around the lump are removed.
2. How long does breast-conserving surgery take to heal?
It is a daycare procedure, and no overnight hospital stay is needed. Most women should be able to function after returning home and can usually resume their regular activities within two weeks.
3. How long should I wear a bra during nights after lumpectomy?
The bra should be well-fitted and supportive and should be worn during the night for 1 week.
4. When is the radiation therapy given after lumpectomy?
Radiation therapy begins between six and twelve weeks after lumpectomy surgery. The entire breast is targeted and sometimes nearby lymph nodes also.
5. What stage cancer is treated with breast conserving surgery?
Usually Stage I and Stage II cancers are treated with either breast-conserving surgery.
6. Why do they put a wire in the breast before surgery?
A wire guided excision biopsy involves inserting a thin wire into the breast tissue to show a surgeon exactly where to remove tissue. If a mammogram or breast ultrasound shows an abnormal area but they can't feel anything when they examine you, your surgeon may use wire.
7. What will happen if I miss a radiation therapy session?
Patients who miss radiation therapy have an increased risk of recurrence of disease, even if they eventually complete the course of radiation treatment.
8. What are the long term side effects of lymph node removal?
Lymphedema, or arm swelling, is a possible long-term side effect of lymph node surgery. Any excess fluid in the arms normally drains into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system and removing the lymph nodes can sometimes obstruct drainage from the arm causing fluid accumulation.
9. What is the difference between breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy?
Mastectomy is the surgical removal of the entire breast. Breast-conserving surgery removes only the cancerous area and a small amount of normal tissue surrounding it. Breast-conserving therapy is the combination of wide local excision and radiation therapy.
10. Does a lumpectomy leave a dent?
The defect created is filled / replaced with oncoplasty technique done during the surgery itself. Scars will result from the surgery and can also cause a dent in the breast. Most women will appear near normal.