Progress in the treatment of breast cancer has been painfully slow. Treatment changes can occur after physicians and their patients have been convinced that a new treatment is equal or superior to another already in use. Treatment of breast cancer depends on a woman's age and health as well as the type, extent, and location of the tumor, and if the cancer has remained in the breast or has spread to other parts of the body. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation or a combination of treatments.
There are various surgical techniques that might differ in the amount of breast tissue that is removed with the tumor, such as whether it has spread away form the breast or with in it and the patients feelings towards which surgery. The surgeon normally removes some lymph nodes under the arm as part of the operation, so they can test for the presence of cancer cells. One surgical treatment includes Lumpectomy, also called breast conservation. The surgeon removes the cancerous area and the surrounding area of the normal tissue. A second incision may be made in order to remove the lymph nodes (Andrew). The treatment aims to maintain a normal breast appearance when surgery is done; less painful and least amount of time to recover which are all positive points. After the lumpectomy, a six to eight week course of radiation therapy is used to treat the remaining breast tissue. Most women who have small, early stage breast cancer are first-rate candidates for this treatment. There are however women who are not typically eligible for a lumpectomy including those who have already had radiation therapy to the affected breast. Women who have two or more areas of cancer in the same breast that is too far apart to be removed through on incision. As well as having cancer that was not completely removed during the first surgery (Andrew). Another choice that women have with surgery is partial or segmental mastectomy.