Breast Cancer Surgery

What is Breast Cancer Surgery?

Breast cancer surgery involves the surgical removal of a breast tumour and a portion of the surrounding normal tissue to prevent its spread to the other parts of the body.

Surgery is usually the first stage of breast cancer treatment. The aim of surgery is to remove the cancer cells from the breast. The cancer (tumour) is then sent to a pathologist who will develop a pathology report. This will help your medical team to decide the best treatment options for you.

The two main types of breast cancer surgery are:

  • Mastectomy: This involves the total removal of one or both breasts.
  • Breast conserving surgery (also called lumpectomy, partial mastectomy or wide local excision). This involves the removal of the part of the breast affected by the cancer; and


Mastectomy is a surgery performed to treat or prevent breast cancer by removing the breast tissue. Simple or total mastectomy involves the removal of the entire breast tissue (along with the areola and nipples), but the lymph nodes and muscles are left intact. Simple mastectomy is indicated when the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes, for cancer prevention, patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (non-invasive breast cancer), Paget's disease of the breast (rare cancer in the skin of or surrounding the nipple) and recurrent breast cancer.

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Breast conserving surgery

Breast conserving surgery is also called lumpectomy, partial mastectomy or wide local excision. Radiotherapy is usually recommended after breast conserving surgery.

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Oncoplastic Surgery

Lumpectomy is a surgical treatment for breast cancer, which involves the removal of the tumour along with a margin of healthy tissue. This procedure sometimes results in a distorted breast that may not be aesthetically pleasing to the patient. Oncoplastic breast surgery is a procedure that combines breast cancer surgery and cosmetic surgery and involves reshaping the breast defect at the time of lumpectomy. Ideal candidates for oncoplastic breast surgery are those eligible for lumpectomy, mastopexy (breast lift) or breast reduction.

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  • Westmed Breast Cancer Institute
  • Breast Care Surgeons of Australia New Zealand
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Woolongong
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Royal Hospital for Women
  • prime wales hospital
  • BreastScreen Australia