Baptist Health Corbin: Breast Cancer Treatment and Removal Surgery
Baptist Health uses advanced medicine in breast cancer removal surgery to proactively prevent the spread of breast cancer. Learn about the process and the types of breast cancer treatment surgery at Baptist Health Corbin.
Breast Cancer Treatment and Removal Surgery HealthTalks Transcript
Barbara Michna, MD, General Surgery:
Since the ’90s, mammography has probably led to about a 40% improvement in breast cancer mortality. If found at an early stage, there are more surgical options than if it’s found at a later stage, but there are always different treatment options, which typically include surgery, sometimes radiation, sometimes chemotherapy, and sometimes hormonal therapy.
Aaron House, MD, General Surgery:
Once you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, one part of the treatment of your cancer will be the surgical aspect. We categorize the surgery into two broad spectrums, the first being your traditional mastectomy, or removal of the entire breast, or breast conservation therapy, which is simply removing the portion of the breast that has the tumor in it with a normal rim of tissue around that, called negative margins. We just want to make sure there’s no cancer at the edges of what we take out.
With both surgeries, you will also undergo what is called “axillary nodal staging,” or assessing the lymph nodes under the arm, and a pathologist at the time of surgery will let us know if there’s cancer in those lymph nodes. If we find cancer in those lymph nodes, we may proceed with removing the remaining lymph nodes under the arm or, if it’s negative, we’re done with the surgery, and we can rest assured that cancer has not had access outside of the breast.
Jared Nimtz, MD, Plastic Surgery, Commonwealth Plastic Surgery:
A patient can benefit from breast reconstruction in the postoperative period after a mastectomy. Some people, when they come to see me, aren’t sure how things are going to wind up proceeding over the next several years of their lives. For the overwhelming majority of patients, they are very pleased with their reconstruction. It allows them to feel some sense of their identity again. They feel like their sense of self is back again. They’re going to do just great.