A woman’s life has a substantial functional and emotional contribution from her breasts. It is very natural and understandable to be under tremendous pressure and doubt from several aspects involved breast cancer surgery.
Therefore, it is very important to examine the pros and cons of the procedure and be mentally prepared to go through with a Total or Partial Mastectomy.
Upon observing visible anomalous symptoms in the breast such as redness, stiffness, scaly, discharge, having a strong genetic background of cancer or being a cancer patient, one should consult a doctor immediately.
Then through several tests such as Mammogram, Ultrasound, Biopsy, MRI and PET Scan it is ascertained whether a Mastectomy Operation will be needed.
This operation can be performed in a number of ways and a team of surgeons can provide a list of options to choose from. This choice depends on your desire, comfort, patient’s breast size, type of cancer and affordable operating packages available.
However, mainly, there are two types of operations performed:
Lumpectomy, which is also known as Partial Mastectomy where only part of the breast along with the area of tissue underneath is removed. This can be done in women at a lower stage of the cancer.
Cancer cells do not spread to most of the breast, but are concentrated in certain areas that are taken along with parts of the breast. The patient underwent a procedure after radiation therapy, to prevent tumor regrowth.
Total Mastectomy, where the entire breast is removed. This is usually done in women who are at a high risk stage with cancer that has spread to larger parts and also under the arms in the lymph nodes.
The muscles underlying the chest are not lifted. With removal of the entire breast, the risk of breast cancer recurrence is reduced, therefore radiation is not needed in this case.
There is also a third type called Radical Mastectomy which is done to lift the breast along with the lymph nodes under the arm.
Women now have the option to restore their post-mastectomy breast shape through breast reconstruction, which can be done immediately after surgery or at a later stage. This should be mentioned and discussed with the breast cancer surgeon involved and the plastic surgeon, prior to the entire procedure.
This step in your life can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. To help you deal with the aftermath of the surgery, a counselor is available during the procedure. In addition, the team of doctors always make sure the patient is ready for critical surgery.
It is very important to understand the risks and complications that may occur even if a successful mastectomy. The cancer may have spread to other locations, or it may still be spreading even though the heavily affected area of the breast has been removed.
Our bodies have a natural way of coping with unfamiliar and harsh circumstances, and soon your body will adapt to your newer breast condition and will allow you to live a normal life within 2-3 weeks after surgery.
However, you will be required to maintain strict standards of care to avoid unnecessary complications. Regular check-ups are a must in order to stay under checks and have a healthy life after having a mastectomy.