What is the difference between wide local excision and mastectomy?

surrounding margin of normal breast tissue. Wide local excision usually does not significantly alter the physical appearance of the breast.

Mastectomy is the surgical removal of the affected breast. Breast reconstruction is possible in most cases after mastectomy.

Many women are faced with the choice between mastectomy or wide local excision. Though both mastectomy and lumpectomy have equal survival rates, there are advantages and disadvantages to both procedures. Wide local excision may preserve the physical appearance of the breast but usually requires four to six weeks of radiation therapy. Mastectomy may reduce local recurrence of breast cancer, but additional decisions about breast reconstruction are introduced. Also, some women may be better candidates for mastectomy than lumpectomy or visa versa depending on their individual medical situation.

Your breast care nurse or surgeon will be able to provide you with detailed information to help you with this decision.

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