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Modified Radical Mastectomy

June 10, 2008 - 7:30am
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Modified Radical Mastectomy

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This procedure 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 "total mastectomy with axillary (or underarm) dissection" and today is the most common treatment of early stage breast cancer.

  • Advantages -Keeps the chest muscle and the muscle strength of the arm. Swelling is less likely, and when it occurs it is milder than the swelling that can occur after a radical mastectomy. Leaves a better appearance than the radical. Survival rates are the same as for the radical mastectomy when cancer is treated in its early stages. Breast reconstruction is easier and can be planned before surgery.
  • Disadvantages -The breast is removed. In some cases, there may be swelling of the arm because of the removal of the lymph nodes.

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