This operation involves removing the whole breast. This may become necessary if the breast lump is large in proportion to the rest of the breast tissue or if there are several areas of cancer cells in different parts of the breast. . Options of reconstruction is offered and discussed with the patient either as primary or delayed reconstruction. Following mastectomy women are given the options of using various prosthesis to restore body image.
Over the choice of treatment, whether lumpectomy or mastectomy, research has shown that in early breast cancer, both are equally effective in outcome
As a part of any operation for breast cancer, the axillary lymph glands are checked to see if breast cancer cells have spread into the lymph glands from the breast tumour. This helps to determine the stage and plan of treatment.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a way of checking just one or two lymph glands to see if they contain cancer. If sentinel nodes do not contain cancer cells, no further surgery is required. If nodes contain cancer cells, then we proceed to remove all the glands in the axilla. This procedure avoids the morbidity that may follow axillary clearance.