As with most other forms of cancer, breast cancer cant simply be Ã¢â‚¬Å“treatedÃ¢â‚¬Â like an ordinary disease, through medication, therapy or the likes. Since its such a serious condition and because it has a more aggressive negative effect with each passing day that you let it grow, breast cancer needs to be treated in the same aggressive parameters. Although many different treatment methods have been tested along the years, the only one that remains efficient is the removal of the cancerous tumor through surgery.
Before jumping in to describe what breast cancer surgery is all about, we need to emphasize on the fact that the sooner the tumor is found, the higher the chances of the surgery being successful and effective. If the tumor grows beyond a certain size, it might be either too risky to take out through surgery, or it might have spread to a larger area where an effective Ã¢â‚¬Å“cleaningÃ¢â‚¬Â of the cancerous cells after the surgery is simply impossible. Thats why, finding the tumor through the various available breast cancer screening methods of today (including mammography and self-examination) is considered equally crucial as the surgery itself.
Types of Surgery
There are different types of breast cancer surgeries, the one a patient needs to undergo depending heavily on the stage the tumor has reached and its type and size. For example, if found in an early stage, the surgery might consist of a simply lumpectomy (the removal of the cancerous lump), if the doctor is certain the disease has not spread in the adjacent tissue.
If this is not the case, and the disease has spread in the entire breast, or if the tumor is in an advanced state, the patient might be required to undergo a mastectomy, which is the surgical removal of the entire breast. This is an operation that involves some higher risks and in many cases, even if the operation succeeds and the tumor is eliminated completely, the patients might face problems of a psychological nature, regarding their aesthetical aspect.
Sometimes, surgical tumor removals are not entirely successful. Its standard practice for the surgical staff to set the operation margins where the tissue is clear of cancerous cells and this is usually determined by an estimation based on the size of the tumor, x-ray images and biopsy tests.
None is 100% effective, so in some cases, cancerous cells still exist even after the removal of the tissue. If the area containing them is large, then further operations might be required, but in most cases these last diseased cells can be treated with either radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
To conclude, although it has some rather important disadvantages, breast cancer surgery is the only viable treatment for such a disease. With the help of some of the above-mentioned additional treatment methods, the efficiency of a surgical intervention is even higher, but, as its the case with most diseases (and especially with cancer, which cant be effectively treated by traditional medication) regular screening and taking preventive measures are two extremely important steps that can make the difference later on.
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