Breast Cancer Surgery and Prevention in Lafayette, LA
Breast Cancer Mammography Screening
Mammography, also known as a mammogram, is the examination of the breast using x-rays. Mammography is considered the most effective tool for early breast tumor detection. Most medical experts agree that successful treatment of breast cancer often is linked to early diagnosis. Mammography plays a central part in early detection of breast cancers because it can show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them.
Southern Surgical & Medical Specialists uses digital mammography. Also known as a full-field digital mammography, digital mammography allows the radiologist to alter the orientation, magnification, brightness and contrast to produce images of the breast that can be seen on a computer screen. Computer-aided detection, or CAD, uses a digitized mammographic image to search for abnormal areas of density, mass, or calcification that may indicate the presence of cancer. The CAD system highlights these areas on the images, alerting the need for further analysis.
Breast cancer surgery is performed to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Most women with breast cancer have some form of surgery to treat the breast tumor. Surgical procedures can also be performed to see if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm or to restore the shape of the breast after a mastectomy.
Common Types of Breast Cancer Surgery
Surgery to treat breast cancer ranges from the very complex to simpler approaches that can preserve the breast structure or provide for its reconstruction. Surgical procedures include:
Surgery of this type focuses on conserving as much of the breast as possible. These surgical procedures remove only a part of the breast depending upon the tumor size, location and other factors. The procedures include:
- Lumpectomy. This surgical procedure removes just the breast lump (tumor) and normal tissue surrounding it. Follow-up radiation therapy is generally administered.
- Partial (segmental) mastectomy or quadrantectomy. This surgical procedure removes more breast tissue than that with a lumpectomy. It can include up to one fourth of the breast and similar to a lumpectomy, follow-up radiation and chemotherapy can be administered.
A Mastectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the entire breast. All of the breast tissue is removed and can include adjacent tissue. There are four types of mastectomies which include:
- Simple mastectomy. With this procedure the entire breast is removed. The lymph nodes under the arm or the muscle tissue beneath the breast are not removed. Occasionally both breasts are removed, most frequently in an effort to prevent cancer.
- Skin-sparing mastectomy. For some women who want breast reconstruction right away, most of the skin over the breast is left intact. The procedure works as well as the simple mastectomy with less scar tissue and a more natural looking reconstructed breast.
- Modified radical mastectomy. This surgical procedure is like the simple mastectomy in which the entire breast is removed but also includes the removal of some of the lymph nodes under the arm.
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy - NSM is a breast-conserving surgery that removes the cancerous tissue through minimally invasive methods working around the areola. The surgeon leaves a lot of the skin intact and usually leaves very minimal scarring by creating a natural envelope of skin filled with a breast implant.
Lymph nodes surgery
- Axillary lymph node dissection. Usually performed at the same time as a mastectomy or lumpectomy, this procedure is used to find out if breast cancer has spread to lymph nodes under the arm. In most cases, less than 20 lymph nodes are removed. If cancer cells are found, there is a higher chance that cancer cells have also spread through the bloodstream to other parts of the body.
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy. A sentinel lymph node biopsy helps to determine if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under the arm without removing all of them. This procedure involves injecting a radioactive substance near the tumor which is then carried by the lymph system to the first nodes called the sentinel lymph nodes. If these nodes contain cancer, more lymph nodes may be removed. If they are free of cancer, further lymph node surgery is not usually needed.
Treatment is done entirely on a case-by-case basis. Consult with Southern Surgical & Medical Specialists after you're diagnosed to discuss what the best option may be. Breast cancer can be easily treatable if detected early and avoided altogether if the right precautions are taking. Visit www.cancer.org for specific information on breast cancer prevention on treatment