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Total or Simple Mastectomy

June 10, 2008 - 7:30am
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Total or Simple Mastectomy

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This type of surgery removes only the breast. Sometimes a few of the underarm lymph nodes closest to the breast are removed to see if the cancer has spread beyond the breast. It may be followed by radiation therapy.

  • Advantages -Chest muscles are not removed and arm strength is not diminished. Most or all of the underarm lymph nodes remain, so the risk of swelling of the arm is greatly reduced. Breast reconstruction is easier.
  • Disadvantages -The breast is removed. If cancer has spread to the underarm lymph nodes, it may remain undiscovered.

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