Breast cancer affects people of all genders. However, it is the most prevalent in women. Most women victims of breast cancer undergo breast surgery where their cancerous breast tissues are removed. This often involves removing one or both of their breasts.
All breast cancer surgeries are not the same and often depend on the individual’s specific condition. Consult Dr. Peter K. Hon from Surgical Specialists of NY and schedule a consultation session today for assistance regarding surgery.
Types of breast cancer surgeries
- Breast-conserving surgery
Breast-conserving surgery, also known as lumpectomy, is a procedure that involves removing the affected portion of your breasts. The surgeon removes the cancer tissue and other abnormal tissues instead of removing the entire breast to maintain its appearance.
This treatment is usually done at the early stages of cancer when it has not yet spread much. Sometimes it is done to rule out the possibility of a breast cancer diagnosis completely. You will likely require to go through radiation therapy after your breast surgery as it helps to prevent cancer from coming back.
Mastectomy involves removing the entire breast. You can opt for mastectomy if lumpectomy is not enough to treat your breast cancer. Women who have multiple affected areas and big tumors inside their breasts are recommended to undergo this surgery.
Going through a mastectomy can be difficult for obvious reasons. However, you can go for breast reconstruction surgery right after your mastectomy or at a later date.
- Lymph node surgery
Sometimes cancer can spread to the lymph nodes present close to the breast. To check if they have spread, you will probably go through an ultrasound scan. If lymph nodes look abnormal in the scan, they will be removed and analyzed in a laboratory. The doctor will conduct a biopsy of the lymph nodes to determine the presence and extent of cancer cells in them.
If the nodes are found cancer-free, they won’t require additional removal. If they reveal cancer, your doctor will then perform surgery to remove the remaining from your body.
Recovering from surgery
The recovery days after surgery can be challenging. Always follow your doctor’s guidelines and instructions for care after your operation.
Here are a few tips on when to restart certain activities after your surgery:
- Avoid doing household chores and lifting heavy objects for at least two weeks.
- You may start driving when you feel okay. Typically, people wait for ten days.
- If you work from home, you can return within a few days. However, if you work at an office, try taking a leave for 6-8 weeks.
- Wear a comfortable bra.
- Avoid strenuous exercise for a month.