Mastectomy is the surgical removal of one or both the breasts partially or wholly. It is done in order to treat women who have breast cancer. Women who undergo this treatment is when breast cancer cannot be treated with breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy)which helps women avoid mastectomy.

There are various types of mastectomy. We shall be learning about these in the following paragraphs:

Simple/Total Mastectomy

Total MastBy National Cancer Institute – This image was released by the National Cancer Institute, an agency part of the National Institutes of Health, with the ID 7129 (image) (next)., Public Domain,

Entire breast of the women is removed. Other parts such as areola, nipple, and skin are removed as well. Some lymph nodes are not removed but few which are located in the breast are removed. removing the lymph nodes depends on the situation of the patient.

Skin Sparing Mastectomy

Under this similar procedure is followed as total mastectomy only the skin over the breast is left intact. Women prefer this type of mastectomy as the reconstruction of the breast is done where tissues from other parts of the body are used to reconstruct the breasts.

This type of mastectomy is not performed if the tumor is large. The probability of re-occurrence of the tumor is the same as in other cases.

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

Here the breast tissues are removed but the nipple and the skin are left alone. There are various other aspects of going through Nipple-sparing mastectomy according to the American cancer society.

Double Mastectomy

Mastectomy is done on both the breasts (bilateral surgery), which is often a risk-reducing surgery with women who have a high risk of having breast cancer. Such cancer cases are mostly found because of gene mutation BRCA gene mutation.

Radical Mastectomy

Cancer Patients with large cancer tumors go through this surgery where the entire breast is taken out including the underarm lymph nodes as well as the chest wall muscles under the breast.

Modified Radical Mastectomy

It is a type of simple Mastectomy with additional removal of the lymph nodes under the arms also known as axillary lymph node dissection.

Read our other blog on Mammogram myths: Don’t shun the mammogram.

Breast Cancer Treatment: Mastectomy
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