Breast Cancer is common among Indian women and is steadily rising. If you are above the age of 50, have a family history of breast cancer or have had radiation treatment in the past, then there is a higher chance of you developing breast cancer.

Years of scientific advances, however, have now made effective and personalized treatments for breast cancer possible. Many treatment options are now available for breast cancer, depending on the stages. Among these, surgery is the most common. It involves the removal of cancer with an operation. Surgery may be used alone or in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy and radiation therapy.

People with high risk can also opt for surgery to reduce their chance of developing breast cancer in the future, says Dr. Suvadip Chakraborti, the best breast cancer doctor in Kolkata.

Types of Breast Cancer Surgery

Breast cancer surgery treatments are of different types depending on the stages of breast cancer.

Mastectomy – Mastectomy is the process of removing the whole breast where cancer has developed. You will be recommended a mastectomy by your surgeon in case of the following –

  • Presence of two or more tumors in separate areas of the breast, recurrence of the cancer.
  • Recurrence of cancer after initial radiation treatment
  • Presence of a large tumor relative to the overall size of your breast

Lumpectomy – A lumpectomy procedure involves the removal of cancer or other abnormal tissue and a small amount of the healthy tissue near it. You will not be recommended a lumpectomy by your surgeon in case of the following–

Scleroderma – a disease that hardens the skin and other tissues, making healing after lumpectomy difficult

  • Presence of two or more tumors in various areas of your breast
  • Cancer that has spread throughout your breast and overlying skin
  • No access to radiation therapy

Sentinel lymph node biopsy – It is a surgery to eliminate one or more lymph nodes or groups of lymph nodes under the arm where cancer is likely to spread first.

Axillary lymph node dissection – It is a procedure to remove as many as 20 underarm lymph nodes.

Breast reconstruction surgery – It is a procedure to restore the shape of your breast after a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction surgery are of two kinds – Breast reconstruction surgery with flaps and Breast reconstruction surgery with implants. Flap surgery involves cutting and relocating a tissue section from one area of your body to create a new breast mound. In the case of implant surgery, silicone devices filled with silicone gel or salt water (saline) are used to reshape your breasts.

Breast cancer surgery Risks

Breast cancer surgery is a safe procedure. However, it has its share of risks involved like any other surgery, says the best breast cancer surgeon in Kolkata.

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Collection of fluid at the operative site
  • Pain
  • Permanent scarring
  • Loss of altered feeling in the chest and reconstructed breasts
  • Arm swelling
  • Anesthesia side effects – confusion, muscle aches and vomiting

Questions you should ask your surgeon

Ask these questions to your breast cancer surgeon to get a better idea of your treatment process –

  1. Which operation will be best for my case?
  2. How much area of my breast will be removed?
  3. How many operations will I be needing?
  4. What are my options regarding reconstruction?
  5. What will be my recovery time? When will I be able to go to work?

If you witness any symptoms of breast cancer, consult a doctor as soon as possible. In the early stages of breast cancer, it can be effectively cured. If you have any concerns regarding breast cancer surgery in Kolkata, visit Dr. Suvadip Chakraborti.