Breast Cancer Surgery: Types and Recovery

Breast Cancer Surgery: Types and Recovery

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the breast tissue. It occurs when cells in the breast grow out of control and form a lump or mass. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and the second most common cancer overall.

Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it is much more common in women. There are several risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer, including:

  • Age: The risk of breast cancer increases as you get older.
  • Family history: If you have a family history of breast cancer, your risk of developing the disease is higher.
  • Genetic mutations: Certain genetic mutations, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, can increase the risk of breast cancer.
  • Hormones: Estrogen and progesterone can promote the growth of breast cancer cells.
  • Previous breast cancer: If you have had breast cancer in one breast, your risk of developing it in the other breast is increased.

Symptoms of breast cancer can include:

  • A lump or mass in the breast or underarm area
  • Breast pain or tenderness
  • Swelling in the breast
  • Changes in the size or shape of the breast
  • Changes in the skin of the breast, such as dimpling, redness, or thickening
  • Nipple changes, such as inversion or discharge

It is important to note that not all breast lumps are cancerous, and some breast cancers may not cause any symptoms. That is why regular breast exams and mammograms are important for early detection.

Treatment for breast cancer depends on several factors, including the stage of the cancer, the type of cancer, and the individual. Treatment options may include:

  • Surgery: Surgery is often used to remove the cancerous tissue from the breast.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body.
  • Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy is used to block hormones that promote the growth of breast cancer cells.
  • Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy uses drugs that target specific proteins or genes that promote the growth of cancer cells.

Types of Breast Cancer Surgery

  1. Lumpectomy: This is also known as breast-conserving surgery. In this procedure, only the tumor and the surrounding tissue are removed. This procedure is usually done when the tumor is small and cancer has not spread beyond the breast.
  2. Mastectomy: This procedure involves removing the entire breast. There are several types of mastectomy, including:
    • Simple mastectomy: In this procedure, the entire breast is removed, including the nipple and areola.
    • Modified radical mastectomy: This procedure involves removing the entire breast, as well as the lymph nodes under the arm.
    • Radical mastectomy: This procedure is rarely done today. It involves removing the entire breast, as well as the chest muscles and lymph nodes under the arm.
  3. Sentinel lymph node biopsy: This procedure is usually done during a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. It involves removing the lymph node closest to the tumor to see if the cancer has spread beyond the breast.
  4. Axillary lymph node dissection: This procedure involves removing several lymph nodes under the arm. It is usually done during a mastectomy.

Recovery Process

The recovery process after breast cancer surgery varies depending on the type of surgery and the individual. However, there are some general guidelines that can help with the recovery process:

  1. Pain management: Pain is common after breast cancer surgery. Pain medication may be prescribed to help manage the pain.
  2. Rest: Rest is important after surgery. It is recommended that you avoid strenuous activity and heavy lifting for several weeks after surgery.
  3. Physical therapy: Physical therapy may be recommended to help restore range of motion and strength to the affected arm.
  4. Emotional support: Breast cancer surgery can be emotionally challenging. It is important to seek emotional support from family, friends, or a mental health professional.
  5. Follow-up appointments: It is important to attend all follow-up appointments with your doctor to ensure that you are healing properly and to monitor for any signs of recurrence.


Breast cancer surgery is an important treatment option for breast cancer. It is important to understand the different types of surgery and the recovery process. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with breast cancer, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Life Point Hospital in India provides state-of-the-art breast cancer treatment options, including surgery. Their team of experienced doctors and staff are dedicated to providing personalized care to each patient. Contact to learn more about their breast cancer treatment options.