Breast cancer is a frightening disease for women. Mastectomy is one of the actions that are often taken to overcome it. Then what exactly is mastectomy?

Mastectomy is a surgical removal of the breast. Now mastectomy is not only done as an action for breast cancer sufferers, but can also be done as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of the disease.

Conquer Breast Cancer with Mastectomy

Recognizing the Type of Mastectomy

Mastectomy can be done on one breast or both. Once the overall breast removal is a standard action for breast cancer. However, there are now several types of mastectomy, including the following:

  • Radical mastectomy

  • This type of mastectomy is increasingly rare. This action will remove all parts of the breast including the nipple. Radical mastectomy also removes the upper skin of the breast, the muscles at the bottom as well as the lymph nodes.

  • Modified radical mastectomy

  • This mastectomy will remove all parts of the breast and lymph nodes under the armpit, but the chest muscles are generally retained. Meanwhile, the skin on the top of the breast can also be removed or left.

  • Partial mastectomy

  • This action will remove the affected breast tumor, then usually followed by radiation therapy to kill and prevent the spread of cancer cells. Partial mastectomy is generally performed for patients with stage 1 or 2 breast cancer.

  • Preventive mastectomy

  • This action is carried out especially in women with a high risk of genetic breast cancer. According to research, preventive mastectomy can reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 90 percent in high-risk groups of women. This action can be in the form of removal of the breast and nipple as a whole or still maintain the presence of the nipple. Preventive mastectomy is also commonly performed on women suffering from breast cancer in one breast, then taking precautions on the other breast.

When is Mastectomy Performed?

Mastectomy is performed on several conditions, including non-invasive breast cancer in milk tissue (ductal carcinoma in situ), early stage breast cancer (1 and 2), stage 3 breast cancer after chemotherapy, breast cancer inflammation after chemotherapy, breast cancer recurred and Paget’s disease in the breast.

In addition, there are several conditions that are recommended for mastectomy, such as:

  • Having inflammation of breast cancer (inflammatory breast cancer).
  • Having a tumor larger than 5 cm or a tumor that is relatively large compared to the size of the breast.
  • Having serious connective tissue diseases, such as scleroderma or lupus, can increase the risk of side effects from radiotherapy.
  • Have undergone radiotherapy treatment for breast.
  • Having two or more cancers in the same breast, but not close enough to be removed together without changing the shape of the breast.
  • Being pregnant and will need radiotherapy while still pregnant (at risk of endangering the fetus).
  • Has genetic factors such as the BRCA mutation, which increases the risk of developing breast cancer for both

Side Effects of Mastectomy

Mastectomy surgery is not risk free. Some time after mastectomy, there is generally pain or swelling in the tissues around the chest. Scar will also appear on the breast along with changes in shape.

Various side effects that are commonly felt include pain, swelling at the operating site, formation of blood in the wound (hematoma), accumulation of clear fluid in the wound (seroma), numbness in the chest or upper arm

Neuropathic pain, sometimes described as a burning or prickling, in the chest wall, armpits, and / or arms, which does not go away over time. This condition is called PMPS (post-mastectomy pain syndrome).

Like all surgeries, bleeding and infection at the operating site may also occur. If the lymph nodes in the armpits are removed, other side effects can occur, such as lymphedema.

Many women undergo mastectomy which removes the entire breast to treat or prevent cancer. Improvement of breast shape can be done using breast implants. However, it needs to be consulted in advance with your doctor, related to the side effects of implant use.

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that has a high cure rate when treated immediately. If necessary, consider doing a mastectomy after consulting a doctor.

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