Types of Surgeries

A Radical Mastectomy (also called the "Halsted radical" after the surgeon who developed the procedure) was the standard treatment for breast cancer for more than 70 years. This surgery removes the breast, the chest muscles, all of the underarm lymph nodes, and some additional fat and skin.

The Modified Radical Mastectomy removes the breast, the underarm lymph nodes, and the lining over the chest muscles. Sometimes the smaller of the two chest muscles is also removed. This procedure is also called a "total mastectomy with axillary (underarm) dissection" and is the most common treatment of early stage breast cancer today. Survival rates are the same as for the radical mastectomy when cancer is treated in its early stages.

The Total or Simple Mastectomy removes only the breast. Somtimes a few of the underarm lymph nodes closest to the breast are removed to see if the cancer has spread beyond the breast. This procedure may be followed by radiation therapy.

A Partial or Segmental Mastectomy is a procedure where the tumor is removed along with a wedge of normal tissue surrounding it, including some skin and the lining of the chest muscle below the tumor. It is followed by radiation therapy. many surgeons also remove some or all of the lymph nodes to check for possible spread of cancer.

A Lumpectomy removes only the breast lump and may be followed by radiation therapy.

For more information on surgeries, visit the American Cancer Society at:

Story   |   Book List   |   About Prostheses   |   Home
How To Get Breast Cancer   |   Breast Cancer Treatments   |   Alternative Treatments