HONOLULU (KHON2) — For those who have been newly diagnosed with breast cancer, the conversation with a patient’s health care team will often turn to treatment options.  And that may include the possibility of a mastectomy or a lumpectomy.  This morning on Ask a Specialist we’re talking about what you need to know with Dr. Kathleen Mah, Breast Surgical Oncologist with the Queen’s Medical Center.

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Dr. Mah discussed what a lumpectomy is and how it is different from a mastectomy:

  • Breast conserving surgery
  • Ideal for smaller tumors
  • Usually paired with radiation treatment
  • Oncoplastic techniques
  • Outpatient surgery, quicker recovery

Does a bigger surgery, such as a mastectomy, offer better outcomes?

  • Mastectomy=lumpectomy + radiation
  • Best for larger/multiple tumors
  • Can avoid radiation
  • Option to reconstruct

If someone chooses a mastectomy, does that person still need chemotherapy?

  • Multimodal treatment
  • Tumor biology
  • Decision for medicine
  • Anti-endocrine vs. chemotherapy vs. immunotherapy

Lastly, if a person has cancer in one breast, can it jump to the other one?

  • 0.5% risk of cancer
  • Monitor with SBE, CBE, MMG, and MRI
  • No benefit for mastectomy

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