For women with breast cancer who wish to conserve as much of the breast as possible, a lumpectomy allows the option of maintaining breast tissue without sacrificing a focus on aggressive cancer removal. Recent developments in lumpectomy techniques may offer even more benefits for women with breast cancer as oncoplastic surgery and lumpectomies become more a more popular treatment option for breast cancer survivors. Here are four ways that new lumpectomy techniques have improved the procedure.
1. Improved Cancer Detection during Lumpectomy
An innovative radiofrequency spectroscopy technology can now detect cancer cells during a lumpectomy that are not typically visible during or after surgery. Detecting cancer cells in the outer margins of removed tissue can aid surgeons in discovering additional cancer during the procedure itself, multiplying the chances of complete cancer removal in a lumpectomy.
2. Revised and Standardized Guidelines for What Constitutes a “Total Removal” of a Tumor
Standardized guidelines for what constitutes total removal of a tumor now require surgeons to excise the tumor from the breast along with a margin of normal breast tissue to ensure complete cancer removal.
3. Oncoplastic Surgery
In my practice, I specialize in oncoplastic surgery. Oncoplastic surgery combines aggressive tumor removal with the cosmetic concerns of conserving as much of the natural breast as possible. In oncoplastic surgery, I reconstruct the breast immediately after cancer removal.
4. Extreme Oncoplasty
Extreme oncoplasty is an option for some women with breast cancer who normally would be considered better candidates for a mastectomy. In these cases, extreme oncoplasty may allow women better cosmetic options who might otherwise require full removal of the breast.