HomeSurgery ArticlesBreast-conserving Surgery Vs Mastectomy | How Do They Differ?

Breast-conserving Surgery Vs Mastectomy | How Do They Differ?

Breast cancer is a dreaded condition that is affecting mostly women. Breast cancer can be life-threatening if not treated early. Important to have regular check-ups to detect any cancer growth in your breasts.

The best thing about early diagnosis of cancer is that it can be treated and you can be cured of it. If you detect any unusual swelling it is important to seek medical attention immediately so that you can avoid any potential hazards.

Surgical removal of cancerous cells is very common nowadays. When it comes to breast cancer there are two main categories of cancer surgeries. One is breast-conserving surgery and the other one is mastectomy. These two types of surgery greatly differ from one another.

If you are wondering about the best type of surgery to choose for your situation this article will compare both of these methods to help you make an informed decision.

Breast-conserving Surgery

Breast-conserving surgery is also known asquadrantectomy, segmental mastectomy, lumpectomy, or partial mastectomy. This is one of the widely preferred breast cancer surgery methods. As the name suggests, this type of surgery conserves a greater part of your breasts compared to other surgeries that completely get rid of the breast that is affected by cancer.

The main idea behind breast-conserving surgery is to get rid of cancerous cells while preserving the rest of the breast. With this type of surgery patients no longer have to worry about losing their breast entirely.

The following are the main things that you should know about breast-conserving surgery before deciding to have one.

Several factors will determine the amount of breast cancer tumor removal. The size of the tumor is one of these factors followed by the size of your breasts.

The ideal candidate for breast-conserving cancer surgery as those people whose cancer is in its early stages. This is important because most of the breasts will be conserved as not much is affected by cancer.

When you get the breast-conserving surgery he will need relation than happy to ensure that no tumors are left untreated.

The breast-conserving surgery process has wider benefits compared to mastectomy. The risks are also minimal if the surgery is conducted by an experienced and expert surgeon.

Several factors affect the candidacy of breast-conserving surgery. These will help you to determine if you are the right candidate it not. Some factors to consider include;

  • If you are worried about losing your breast
  • When you are willing and ready to get radiation therapy
  • If the tumor is available in one area of your breast and hence it can be removed easily without interfering with the test of your breast
  • If you are pregnant, radiation therapy is not recommended because it can interfere with your unborn child.
  • If your breast cancer is not an inflammatory one
  • In case you don’t have any genetic factor that can increase the risk of getting another just cancer.

Side Effects of Breast-conserving  Surgery

In addition to the many benefits that this surgery has there are few side effects that one might experience these include;

  • Formation of the large-scale dimple at the areas of surgery
  • Tenderness sensation or pain on your breast
  • Your breasts might become swollen temporarily
  • Your breasts might lose shape after the surgery.


Mastectomy is a kind of breast cancer surgery that removes the entire breast. This type of surgery is opted for when a woman cannot be treated using other methods such as breast-conserving surgery. In other instances when the breast cancer has progressed to another level or has affected other parts of your breast.

To determine if you are a candidate for mastectomy it is important to talk to your doctor and allow them to conduct tests that will determine the best surgery for your specific situation.

A woman who has a higher risk of getting second cancer must get a mastectomy to avoid this. Other stations your doctor finds out you have an increased risk of getting breast cancer they can also recommend having a double mastectomy which means getting rid of both your breasts. Mastectomy can also be conducted on a patient who chooses to do so for their reasons.

There are several types of breast mastectomy these include:

Nipple-sparing mastectomy

This kind of mastectomy aims at removing other parts of the breast while preserving the nipple. In this type of mastectomy, the skin can also be spared and the main reason for this is to preserve these vital parts If someone opts for complete breast reconstruction.

Skin-sparing mastectomy

Patients may decide to preserve their skin if they intend to have breast reconstruction in the future. In this type of surgery only the breast tissue, areola and nipple are removed. Breast reconstruction can use other parts of the body to reconstruct the breast.

Modified radical mastectomy

This type of breast surgery games heart removing the auxiliary lymph nodes in the armpits.

 Double mastectomy

This type of procedure is used to remove both breasts. It is very common if your doctor finds out you are at higher risk of getting additional breast cancer.

Candidates of Mastectomy

To understand if you are the right candidate for Mastectomy, it is important to understand The following.

  • It is the right option if you cannot have radiation therapy like in breast-conserving surgery.
  • If you prefer a more extensive breast cancer surgery then Mastectomy is the best choice.
  • If you have breast tumors in more than one area of your breasts.
  • If the breast tumor you have is big around 5 cm long. This will depend on the size of your breast.
  • In case you have inflammatory breast cancer

Now that we have talked and the difference between breast-conserving surgery and mastectomy, it is important to first ensure that you communicate with your doctor to help you decide the best option for you. Both of these methods are important and can be used depending on the type of breast cancer that you have, tumor size, and whether it has progressed or if it’s just starting.

If you have decided to go about this type of surgery it is important to talk to your doctor so that they can explain what to expect before, during, and after these surgeries.

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