Finding out that you have breast cancer is a scary occurrence. If your cancer has been detected early, based on identifying early symptoms, there is an estimated 95% chance of successful treatment. If you have been advised that you need a mastectomy or a lumpectomy, here are the differences between the two treatments and what you can expect.
Most Common Breast Cancer Symptoms
- A palpable lump.
- Thickening or changes in the skin of your breast.
- Swelling, inflammation and redness or darkening of the skin.
- Changes in breast appearance; such as size or shape.
- Dimpling or strange creasing of the skin.
- Changes in the skin around the nipple such as flaking or itching, inversion or pulling to another side.
- Discharge that starts unexpectedly out of the nipple.
- Unusual pain in one spot that persists.
Mastectomy vs Lumpectomy
For a mastectomy, the entire breast is removed. Many women have chosen this instead of a lumpectomy as there is more surety that the cancer will be removed entirely. After the removal of the breast, there are prosthetic options and breast reconstruction surgery so the end results are not necessarily final from a cosmetic perspective.
A lumpectomy is where only the malignant lump is removed, leaving as much of the surrounding breast tissue as possible. This treatment works in conjunction with radiotherapy which needs to take place for up to five weeks post-lumpectomy. A lumpectomy can leave your breast misshaped and if the cancer returns, a mastectomy will be the only option for treatment going forward.
Increasing Your Chances of Early Detection
To increase the chances of early detection, women over 40 should be going for regular mammogram screening. Girls and women of all ages should be doing self-examination checks regularly or utilising the Breastlight which assists you in detecting abnormalities in the breast. For more information on the Breastlight, speak to your pharmacist or visit their website to purchase online.