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Many breast cancers are treated by removing as much of the cancer as is possible, and then using one or more other therapies to kill or control any remaining cancerous cells. A lumpectomy removes the cancerous tissue while leaving the remaining breast tissue intact. A mastectomy is a more extensive procedure but can still vary in the amount of the breast removed. While mastectomy was once the preferred treatment even in early stage breast cancer, more choices have become available. Now, lumpectomy followed by radiation has been demonstrated to be as effective as a mastectomy in treating early stage breast cancer. In performing either a lumpectomy or mastectomy, a doctor may remove some or all of the lymph nodes under the arm to help assess whether the cancer has spread.

There is a great deal of new research being performed in the field of breast cancer treatment, and your doctor is your best source of information.

Breast cancer tissue banks
Tissue banks also collect breast cancer samples, and information about the women who donate them, for use in breast cancer research. If you agree to participate, you will be asked to complete consent forms. You might be asked for consent before your surgery by a letter or in person. A small amount of your breast cancer tissue will be given to the tissue bank. This will not jeopardize the amount of tissue required by the pathologist for your pathology reporting.

Last Review Date: August 1, 2018