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A majority of breast cancer patients have surgery to remove the cancerous tissue. Depending on the nature and extent of the cancer, surgery can involve either, removing a tumor or lump (lumpectomy), a portion of the breast (partial mastectomy), the complete breast and the lining over the chest muscles (modified radical mastectomy), or the complete breast and underlying chest muscles (radical mastectomy). Commonly the surgeon will also remove lymph nodes under the arm that drain the breast and chest area. These lymph nodes will then be tested for the appearance of cancer cells. Surgery due to breast cancer can have a significant impact on a woman's self image and ability to function. If you're facing surgical treatment for breast cancer, talk to someone about how you are feeling and surround yourself with a strong, loving support system.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|