If you are someone researching about the treatments available for breast cancer, then lumpectomy procedure may have come to your notice. Lumpectomy is one of the first options available for women who are affected by the dreaded disease. It is a surgical procedure that removes the cancer cells and other abnormal tissues from the breasts. Here are some of the things to know about it.
It is different from a mastectomy
In a mastectomy, the whole breast gets removed while in a lumpectomy, a part of the breast and some of the surrounding tissue gets removed so that no cancer cell is left behind. It is one of the treatments that are preferred for early-stage breast cancer. It is usually the case that radiation is done after the lumpectomy so that the chances of cancer returning are reduced.
Some of the risk factors
Knowing about some of the risk factors of the procedure is a good thing. Allergic reactions, bleeding and infections are some of the things that patients usually have to deal with. There might be some numbness after the tissues get removed and this is caused by nerve endings. Temporary swelling and tenderness can also be expected right after the surgery which usually dissipates soon enough. Also, something many patients are not ready for is a change in the shape of the breasts. It can be difficult to get accustomed to the change but it is a price to pay for being cancer-free.
Being mentally prepared
Being mentally prepared for breast cancer surgery is crucial. No one is really ready to be told that they have cancer and it can be tough for even strong people to deal with the aftermath. The shape and size of the tumor is a big concern with the surgeon and therefore one can expect quite a few screening and physical examinations being conducted to find out about it. There is no doubt that such appointments with the doctor can be unhinging and stressful and that is the reason why it is always advisable to have a family member or friend around. During the day of the surgery too, the presence of a family member or a friend is highly recommended for providing mental support, and also for listening to any instructions to be followed after the surgery from the doctors and staff.
What happens after the surgery
The patient will be transferred to the recovery room after the surgery and it is normal to expect pain, swelling and discomfort in the area. Medications will be provided to ease the pain. It is important to restrict one’s activities after the surgery. It is also crucial to follow all the advice the doctor gives to heal properly. It may take quite a bit of time to heal. If radiation is the next step, it will happen a few weeks after the lumpectomy procedure.
Breast cancer is certainly not the end of the world. Treatments are available and they are becoming better and more effective every day.