For women who are suffering from breast cancer and are in their initial stages, there will be a choice between two treatment methods which are lumpectomy and mastectomy. It is important to make an informed decision so as to gain maximum benefits and avail the best possible cure.
Where on one hand, lumpectomy is the surgical removal of tumor and some part of the surrounding tissue; mastectomy is the surgical removal of the entire breast. If you are confused between which treatment option to choose, then the following given comparison will prove to be of help.
- Lumpectomy involves removal of less tissue than mastectomy and can leave the breast looking as close to what it used to look before the surgery. In most of the cases, the shape of the breast and the nipple area is preserved but this is not the case in mastectomy since the entire breast is removed. However in a few cases of mastectomy, a breast reconstruction may be done.
- While in the case of lumpectomy, a radiation therapy may also be needed, there is no such need in the case of mastectomy. This can be an important factor for those females who live in areas where there is no availability of radiation therapy nearby.
- While both have the same result in terms of eliminating breast cancer, mastectomy may offer more peace of mind. This is so because it doesn’t involve going to the radiation center time and again.
- While mastectomy is a major surgery which is performed under the action of general anesthesia, lumpectomy is a less extensive surgery but is also performed with general anesthesia.
- As far as mastectomy is concerned, an overnight stay may be required by the patient and may take a longer recovery time than lumpectomy. In the case of lumpectomy, the patient is allowed to go home the same day.
- The chances of cancer returning or recurrence of the disease may be higher in the case of lumpectomy as compared to mastectomy. However it is important to know that the chance of spreading of the cancer to the other organs is the same in both the cases.
- Since radiation therapy is needed along with lumpectomy, those women who cannot get radiation therapy done due to some reason may be better suited for mastectomy treatment. Some conditions in which one cannot get radiation therapy done include systemic lupus, past radiation therapy done to the same breast and those who are pregnant.
Currently most women who have been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer may opt for lumpectomy with radiation therapy. This approach is better because it preserves the breast and provides same survival rate as mastectomy.
Many advances in surgical techniques, imaging and radiation therapy have reduced the chances of recurrence of cancer after availing lumpectomy treatment and it may thus be a better option. However, the choice may differ from case to case and it is better to consult a specialist for the same.