Surgery is often the first choice as a breast cancer treatment. There are two main types of surgery in this case, a lumpectomy and a mastectomy. Sometimes the nature of the cancer determines which type of surgery is appropriate, but in other instances the decision is up to the patient. Several considerations must be made, including the radiation that often accompanies a lumpectomy or body image after a mastectomy.
Increasing numbers of women are having mastectomies these days. Whether it’s women with large and/or scattered tumors, women who want to slash their risk of recurrence in the same breast, or women who have both breasts removed when one is cancerous, mastectomies are on the rise. In addition, about one-third of women with mutant BRCA genes…