NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Breast Cancer - Early-Stage
(STAGES I AND II)
, Version 1.2016
Breast cancer surgery
Breast tumor surgery
Figure 3.1 Breast tumor surgeries
Lumpectomy and mastectomy are two surgeries that remove cancer in
the breast. Your treatment team will tell you how to prepare for and what
to expect from surgery. Briefly, you will be asked to stop eating, drinking,
and taking some medicines for a short period of time before the surgery.
If you smoke, it is important to stop.
A lumpectomy removes the tumor along with a surgical margin. Pain is
prevented with either local or general anesthesia. Often, breast tissue is
removed through a C-shaped cut. A lumpectomy is finished within 15 to
40 minutes. A lumpectomy will leave a small scar and may cause some
pain and swelling for about a week. It may also cause a dent in your
breast that can be fixed with breast reconstruction.
A total mastectomy removes the entire breast but not any chest muscle.
Pain is prevented with general anesthesia. Often, an oval-shaped cut is first
made around the nipple. Next, the breast tissue will be detached from the
skin and muscle and then removed. A total mastectomy is finished within
1 to 2 hours. A total mastectomy will leave a large scar and cause pain and
swelling. You may also have stiffness, severe tiredness despite sleeping
(fatigue), and uncomfortable crawly sensations as your nerves heal.