Is only breast tissue removed during a lumpectomy?

In a breast lumpectomy, the operation focuses on the breast and possibly the lymph nodes under the arm in the setting of invasive cancer. During the operation, the surgeon usually removes some of the lymph nodes under the arm to check for cancer. This approach is termed a sentinel lymph node biopsy, in which the first few nodes that drain the breast are removed and checked under the microscope. A lumpectomy is also called a partial mastectomy or segmental mastectomy. These are all types of breast conservation surgery, in which the cancer is removed with a margin of normal tissue around it. An excisional biopsy is a surgery for a noncancerous lesion that involves removing an area of breast tissue for diagnostic purposes. This involves removing the lesion in question without a margin of healthy tissue around it in order to make a definitive diagnosis (usually done to rule out a cancer).  

Continue Learning about Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast Cancer Treatment

After a breast cancer diagnosis, there are many decisions to make. A multidisciplinary team of doctors and specialists can help get a treatment plan started and you can choose a treatment facility. In the past, breast cancer treat...

ment involved a radical mastectomy, but today procedures are less invasive. Treatment will depend on the stage of breast cancer. It may include surgery, such as lumpectomy, radiation or chemotherapy to shrink and kill cancer cells. Learn more about breast cancer treatment options with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.