The goal of breast cancer surgery is to remove the cancerous tumor from the breast and lymph nodes. Breast Cancers vary in size and biology thus adding complexity to options in treatment. If caught early enough, cancer tissue can sometimes be removed with a small cosmetic operation when it is localized to the breast. The larger a cancer becomes, the harder it becomes to treat, especially when it moves into other areas, i.e. metastasizes.
In breast cancers, depending on the biology and stage, it is often beneficial to shrink the size of the cancer before performing surgery. Reducing the size of the cancer makes it easier to remove from the body thereby giving a better cosmetic outcome. When cancer is reduced in size before surgery with chemotherapy or anti-hormone therapy it is called neoadjuvant therapy.
Breast Surgical oncologist in Phoenix Dr. Rashmi Vaidya said, “Neoadjuvant Therapy tends to be a decision we make in a multidisciplinary fashion. The breast surgical oncologist, medical oncologist and radiation oncologist take into consideration the stage of the tumor, biology of the tumor, tumor to breast ratio, and patient comorbidities before making recommendations for neoadjuvant therapy versus surgery. Sometimes we include the perspective of a plastic surgeon to help give our decisions the best possible cosmetic outcome.”
Many factors are considered when choosing the best surgical treatment for your breast cancer. Your treatment plan is individualized to you and your specific cancer. As a breast cancer patient, you should discuss these factors with your Breast Cancer Surgeon. For more information about Dr. Vaidya click here or call Ironwood Cancer and Research Center at 480-821-2838.