Mastectomie 02.jpg
Person following a mastectomy

Mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely. A mastectomy is usually carried out to treat breast cancer.[1] In some cases, people believed to be at high risk of breast cancer have the operation as a preventative measure. Alternatively, some people can choose to have a wide local excision, also known as a lumpectomy, an operation in which a small volume of breast tissue containing the tumor and a surrounding margin of healthy tissue is removed to conserve the breast.

Both mastectomy and lumpectomy are referred to as "local therapies" for breast cancer, targeting the area of the tumor, as opposed to systemic therapies, such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or immunotherapy.

Traditionally, in the case of breast cancer, the whole breast was removed. Currently, the decision to do the mastectomy is based on various factors, including breast size, the number of lesions, biologic aggressiveness of a breast cancer, the availability of adjuvant radiation, and the willingness of the patient to accept higher rates of tumor recurrences after lumpectomy and radiation. Outcome studies comparing mastectomy to lumpectomy with radiation have suggested that routine radical mastectomy surgeries will not always prevent later distant secondary tumors arising from micro-metastases prior to discovery, diagnosis, and operation.[citation needed]

Medical uses

Despite the increased ability to offer breast conservation techniques to patients with breast cancer, certain groups may be better served by traditional mastectomy procedures including:

  • women who have already had radiation therapy to the affected breast
  • women with 2 or more areas of cancer in the same breast that are too far apart to be removed through 1 surgical incision, while keeping the appearance of the breast satisfactory
  • women whose initial lumpectomy along with (one or more) re-excisions has not completely removed the cancer
  • women with certain serious connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma, which make them especially sensitive to the side effects of radiation therapy
  • pregnant women who would require radiation while still pregnant (risking harm to the child)
  • women with a tumor larger than 5  cm (2  inches) that doesn't shrink very much with neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • women with cancer that is large relative to their breast size
  • women who have tested positive for a deleterious mutation on the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene and opt for a preventive mastectomy since they are at high risk for the development of breast cancer.
  • men with gynecomastia
  • transgender individuals suffering from dysphoria will sometimes elect for mastectomy
Other Languages
български: Мастектомия
brezhoneg: Mastektomiezh
català: Mastectomia
čeština: Mastektomie
Deutsch: Mastektomie
español: Mastectomía
فارسی: ماستکتومی
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Frysk: Mastektomy
galego: Mastectomía
italiano: Mastectomia
עברית: מסטקטומיה
македонски: Мастектомија
Nederlands: Mastectomie
polski: Mastektomia
português: Mastectomia
русский: Мастэктомия
Simple English: Mastectomy
slovenčina: Mastektómia
svenska: Mastektomi
Türkçe: Mastektomi
українська: Мастектомія