Dr. K. Thendral MS(OBG), DNB(OBG), FMAS, Senior Consultant – Obstertrics, Gyneacology & Laparoscopic Surgery, Rainbow Children’s Hospital
Most women with breast cancer require some form of surgery as part of their treatment. There are of different types depending on the situation. When the aim is to remove much of the cancer as possible it can be a breast conserving surgery or mastectomy (removal of entire breast) depending upon the stage of cancer. Breast reconstruction is restoring the shape of the breast after cancer is removed. There are also surgeries which involve removal of lymph nodes in under arm and surgeries to relieve symptoms of advanced cancer.
While planning surgeries for breast cancer, a team of doctors are involved in decision making and addressing the concern of the patient regarding psychosocial and surgical issues. From a surgical stand point, investigations required pre operatively will be done based on the age, symptoms and comorbid conditions. Instruction will be given has to stop certain medication and antibiotics will be started prior to surgery. The patient will have unexpressed concern regarding the surgery, the associated pain, recovery, stay in hospital, risk of recurrence, the need for additional treatments following surgery and cosmesis . These concerns have to addressed prior to surgery and adequate support provided.
The options about breast reconstruction which is restoration of shape of breast, will also be discussed with the team of breast surgeons and plastic surgeons. Breast reconstruction may be done during the surgery or later. Patients with locally advanced cancer may need chemotherapy prior to surgery the shrink to tumor size and make breast conservative surgery possible.
The aim here is to provide individualized care as to avoid under treatment or over treatment of cancer.