Surgical Options for Breast Cancer

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Baptist Health Louisville: Surgical Options for Breast Cancer

Surgeon William Hoagland, MD, describes two of the most common ways to treat breast cancer – breast-conserving therapy and mastectomy, and discusses the treatment decision-making process.

Surgical Options for Breast Cancer HealthTalks Transcript

William Hoagland, MD, Breast Surgery
For a cancer of the breast, the common treatments that we would treat the patient with — we always give them the two general options that we have — the first would be breast-conserving therapy, which is traditionally removing the lump that’s there with margins and then generally assessing the lymph nodes. The other option would be a mastectomy. With that mastectomy, there is the option of reconstruction, whether that’s done by an implant or using the patient’s own tissue, and that procedure is performed in concert with the plastic surgeon. One of the biggest changes that I’ve seen in breast cancer is the impact of family history and really the genetic component that we deal with now, and so we really take a good family history and there are just a number of criteria that we utilize to assess that. I think the biggest concerns that we hear from patients are they do want to move very quickly, and I think we first just have to sit down and really, you know, just talk through the situation and what’s going on, and to just assure them that we don’t need to just run so fast that we make a hasty decision. So, I think most of that is just kind of helping them to calm down in the sense of just kind of making a wise decision and taking the time to do the proper things that we need to do.