The more breast tissue that is removed during this surgery, the more likely it is that there will be a noticeable change in the breast afterwards. Experts suggest that before having breast-conserving surgery, women talk with their doctors (and possibly a plastic surgeon) about what their breasts might look like after the surgery.
Breast-conserving surgery can be considered after the cancer has been staged. Breast-conserving surgery may not be the best choice in some cases, depending on the size of the tumor or if there are several tumors that are too far apart.
Breast-conserving surgery is usually followed by radiation. If you don't want to have radiation therapy or if you cannot have radiation treatment, breast-conserving surgery is not usually a good choice.
Radiation therapy has to be done on a set schedule and takes several weeks. If you do not think you can go to every appointment, talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
Surgery is almost always recommended to treat breast cancer. If breast-conserving surgery is not a good option for you, then total or modified radical mastectomy, which removes the entire breast and sometimes the surrounding tissue, is a better treatment choice.
© Healthwise, Incorporated.