Teens Young Women Middle Life Mature Women Reference Library
Breast Cancer Treatment
your body
caring for your body
body image
gyne health
staying healthy
conditions diseases

If you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, you have options to stop the cancer from spreading if it hasn’t already. The most common forms of treatment are surgery, chemotherapy, and +/- radiation therapy. A surgeon will talk about the breast-conserving options available to you. The most common form of breast surgery is a lumpectomy, or a partial mastectomy. The surgeon will remove only the part of your breast containing the tumor, and some of the normal tissue surrounding it. This tissue is examined further to make sure that no cancer cells are present in the margins, which is the normal tissue surrounding the tumor. If cancer is present in the margins, more extensive surgery may be performed. A mastectomy involves the removal of all of a woman’s breast tissue. This procedure is more serious than a lumpectomy, involves more complications, and a longer and more intense recovery period.

Reconstructive surgery is used for women who have had a mastectomy. After breast surgery, many women opt for reconstructive surgery to restore the appearance of their breasts. Advances in technology now allow plastic surgeons to fully reconstruct the contour of the breast, including the nipple. It’s recommended that women wait after their mastectomy and other treatment before reconstructive surgery.

Some women don’t want to go through reconstructive surgery and choose to use prosthetics instead. A wide variety of options for prosthetic bras and swimwear are available. Private fittings fit these prosthetics exactly to your body type and breast size so that you feel comfortable. It’s recommended that women wait six to eight weeks after a surgery to allow a complete healing before a fitting.

Click below to read about related topics.

Your Breasts
Breast Cancer Basics
The Breast Self-Exam
The Clinical Breast Exam
Breast Cancer Treatment
Other Breast Problems