Questions to Ask Your Surgeon About a Breast Cancer Lumpectomy

Choosing what type of surgery is best for you after a breast cancer diagnosis is a big decision that can leave breast cancer patients feeling overwhelmed. The key is to get as much information from your surgeon and care team as possible. One treatment option to consider is a breast cancer lumpectomy, also called a partial mastectomy.

Call us at 1-800-965-2340 to request appointment or fill in below:
*Indicates required field

Request an Appointment

We will use this information to help schedule an appointment. Your personal information will be stored securely.
We are temporarily unable to process your request. Please call the Request an Appointment phone number and we will help you set up your appointment.
REQUEST APPOINTMENT

Your personal information will be stored securely. We will use this information to help suggest and schedule services. Learn more about how your information is protected and used.

Thank you for requesting an appointment with us!

You will receive an email from us in the next 24 hours.

If you do not see our email please check your Spam folder. For assistance, please call us at 1-800-965-2340

A breast cancer lumpectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove the cancer while conserving your natural breast, leaving as much healthy tissue as possible. Below are five questions to ask your surgeon about breast cancer lumpectomy.

Am I a Candidate for a Breast Cancer Lumpectomy?

Not every woman with breast cancer is a candidate for breast cancer lumpectomy. Understanding factors involved in determining if breast conservation is an option for you is important. The surgery is usually an option for women with earlier stage breast cancers. In addition to the size of the cancer, other factors that help determine if someone is a candidate for a lumpectomy include:

  • Location of the cancer.
  • Whether the cancer is contained to one area of the breast.
  • Size of the breast relative to the tumor.
  • Prior history of surgery or radiation on the affected breast.
  • If you are in the early stages of pregnancy or have another condition that prevents you from getting radiation, which is often required after breast cancer lumpectomy.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Breast Cancer Lumpectomy?

There are a number of pros and cons to think about when considering a breast cancer lumpectomy. This is especially important when comparing it to a mastectomy—the alternative surgery for breast cancer which involves removing the entire breast.

A breast cancer lumpectomy allows you to keep most of your natural breast, which is very important to some women. It is a less invasive surgery than a mastectomy, allowing you to get back to normal activities sooner. Radiation is more often recommended after a lumpectomy but not as often after mastectomy. Studies show that a lumpectomy with radiation provides the same long-term survival rate and same risk for the cancer spreading outside the breast as with a mastectomy.

Not every woman with breast cancer is a candidate for breast cancer lumpectomy. Understanding factors involved in determining if breast conservation is an option for you is important.

Find a location near you

Loma Linda University Cancer Center
11234 Anderson St., Suite A600, Loma Linda, CA 92354
909-558-2262
Loma Linda University Health – Beaumont – Banning
Oncology
81 South Highland Springs Ave., Suite 201, Beaumont, CA 92223
909-558-2262
Loma Linda University Health – Beaumont – Banning
Radiation Oncology
81 South Highland Springs Ave., Suite 105, Beaumont, CA 92223
800-496-4966
Loma Linda University Professional Office Building – Murrieta
Oncology Nurse Navigator
28078 Baxter Rd., Suite 130, Murrieta, CA 92563
951-290-4148
Loma Linda University Professional Office Building – Murrieta
Radiation Oncology
28078 Baxter Rd., Suite 130, Murrieta, CA 92563
951-290-4162
Loma Linda University Professional Office Building – Murrieta
Women's Diagnostic Imaging Center
28078 Baxter Rd., Suite 220, Murrieta, CA 92563
951-290-4860
Loma Linda University Professional Office Building – Murrieta
Faculty Surgical Oncology Medical Offices
28078 Baxter Rd., Suite 510, Murrieta, CA 92563
909-558-2262
close

What Should I Expect from Surgery?

A breast cancer lumpectomy is typically performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. If your tumor cannot be easily felt, your surgeon will order a procedure before your breast cancer lumpectomy to locate and mark the tumor. Traditionally, this involves needle localization—a procedure that marks the tumor by inserting a fine needle into the breast. However, there are now newer, more advanced methods of locating the tumor offered at some centers.

The Breast Health Center at Loma Linda University Cancer Center offers such advanced localization techniques. Specialized breast radiologists use image guidance for Magseed localization — which uses new implant technology to locate a tumor’s precise location within the breast for surgical accuracy without the need for a wire. This approach provides the patient a more comfortable experience and can be performed days in advance of surgery.

Will I Need Other Breast Cancer Treatments?

As mentioned, most women who receive a breast cancer lumpectomy will need radiation following surgery. This helps guard against the cancer coming back locally. Some women will also benefit from chemotherapy, hormone therapy and other drugs. Having a breast cancer lumpectomy instead of a mastectomy will not change whether or not you need drug therapies. These systemic therapies are dependent on the type of tumor you have, not your choice of surgery.

The Breast Health Center offers the most comprehensive cancer program in the Inland Empire, providing medical excellence without the stress of traveling outside the San Bernardino area. All of our services—from the most advanced diagnostic services to surgery, medical oncology, reconstruction and radiation treatments—are all located under one roof.

In addition to other advanced treatment options, the Breast Health Center is one of the few centers in the United States that offers proton therapy for breast cancer patients. This noninvasive therapy is an accurate more focused form of therapy than other forms of external beam radiation available today for early-stage breast cancer.

Patient navigators are registered nurses trained in oncology care to guide you through the challenges of dealing with cancer. They are here to support you as you go through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Contact the Patient Navigator team at 800-782-2623.

What Will Recovery from Breast Cancer Lumpectomy Be Like?

Breast cancer lumpectomy is performed on an outpatient basis and usually requires less anesthesia, thus recovery is fairly quick. Women are typically able to resume normal activities within two weeks. But everyone experiences treatment differently. As it is a smaller surgery than mastectomy, side effects such as pain, bleeding and infection tend to be less likely with lumpectomy.

The Breast Health Center cares for the whole person—not just the cancer. That’s why our breast cancer program offers a wide range of support services to help you every step of the way. This includes nutritional counseling, pastoral care, psychosocial counseling, support groups and much more. We also provide a team of experts who offer help managing treatment side effects.