NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Stage 0 Breast Cancer - page 26

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Stage 0 Breast Cancer, Version 1.2014
Total mastectomy
Some women with DCIS can’t have breast-conserving
therapy. Your doctor may suggest a mastectomy
based on your health conditions, the tumor size,
cancer in the margin, your chances of having
another breast tumor, and how you want your breast
to look after treatment. A mastectomy is strongly
recommended if the following qualities describe you:
You have DCIS that needs treatment while
you are pregnant;
You have had radiation close to the breast
area with DCIS;
You have two or more areas of DCIS that
can’t be removed through one cut;
You may have cancer throughout the breast; or
You had a lumpectomy and the surgical
margin had many areas of cancer.
For DCIS, a total (also called simple) mastectomy
is recommended. This surgery removes the whole
breast but doesn’t remove the chest muscles under
the breast. It is done under general anesthesia. Often,
a surgeon will make an oval-shaped cut around the
nipple as shown in
Figure 7.
Next, the breast tissue
will be detached from the skin and muscle so it can
be removed. A total mastectomy is finished within 1
to 2 hours. Afterward, a tube may be placed in your
chest to drain fluid.
A total mastectomy will leave a large scar and cause
pain and swelling. You may also have stiffness,
severe tiredness despite sleeping, and uncomfortable
crawly sensations as your nerves heal. Ask your
treatment team for a complete list of side effects.
Some women decide to have their breast re-made
after a mastectomy. Surgery to rebuild a breast is
called breast reconstruction. Breast reconstruction
can be done while still under general anesthesia for
the mastectomy or at a later time. See page 29 for
more information.
Figure 7. Total mastectomy
Illustration Copyright © 2014 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.
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