It involves the removal of the lump as well as certain amount of nearby normal and healthy tissues to make sure even the microscopic spread of the disease would also be removed.
The decision to undergo a lumpectomy should be taken after careful consideration of the disease history, its physical state, past history of the same condition, previous treatment processes, patients wishes as well as the general well being of the patient.
Thus, some important facts that needs consideration before making a decision to undergo lumpectomy would be, whether the tumor is,
- small in size to suite lumpectomy
- not spread to other areas of the breast and is confined
- not having a regional spread as indicated by positive biopsy specimens of regional lymph nodes
- is diagnosed relatively early.
At the same time, following changes in the appearance of the lump would indicate to the clinicians regarding the necessity to undertake a surgical option for an existing breast lump. These would be,
- Gradual enlargement of a breast lump
- Changes in the overlying skin, which can be a late sign of the disease process.
- Appearance of pain and tenderness in the region
- Presence of nipple discharge or blood stained discharge
- Having a positive family history or is under treatment with hormonal drugs
- A biopsy report that suggest the possibility of having malignant cells in the suspected tumor.
Following considering all the pros and cons, the surgeons will offer this option to the patients and in most instances, lumpectomy and close follow-up would be all that is necessary for a disease free life among such patients.