Mastectomy

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Mastectomy
Mastectomie 02.jpg
Person following a mastectomy
ICD-9-CM 85.4
MeSH D008408
MedlinePlus 002919

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.

Breast Region of the torso of a primate containing the mammary gland

The breast is one of two prominences located on the upper ventral region of the torso of primates. In females, it serves as the mammary gland, which produces and secretes milk to feed infants. Both females and males develop breasts from the same embryological tissues. At puberty, estrogens, in conjunction with growth hormone, cause breast development in female humans and to a much lesser extent in other primates. Breast development in other primate females generally only occurs with pregnancy.

Breast cancer cancer that originates in the mammary gland

Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, a newly inverted nipple, or a red or scaly patch of skin. In those with distant spread of the disease, there may be bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or yellow skin.

A wide local excision (WLE) is a surgical procedure to remove a small area of diseased or problematic tissue with a margin of normal tissue. This procedure is commonly performed on the breast and to skin lesions, but can be used on any area of the body.

Contents

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.

Chemotherapy treatment of cancer with one or more cytotoxic anti-neoplastic drugs

Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs as part of a standardized chemotherapy regimen. Chemotherapy may be given with a curative intent, or it may aim to prolong life or to reduce symptoms. Chemotherapy is one of the major categories of the medical discipline specifically devoted to pharmacotherapy for cancer, which is called medical oncology.

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 ]

An adjuvant is a pharmacological or immunological agent that modifies the effect of other agents. Adjuvants may be added to a vaccine to boost the immune response to produce more antibodies and longer-lasting immunity, thus minimizing the dose of antigen needed. Adjuvants may also be used to enhance the efficacy of a vaccine by helping to modify the immune response to particular types of immune system cells: for example, by activating T cells instead of antibody-secreting B cells depending on the purpose of the vaccine. Adjuvants are also used in the production of antibodies from immunized animals. There are different classes of adjuvants that can push immune response in different directions, but the most commonly used adjuvants include aluminum hydroxide and paraffin oil.

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:

<i>BRCA1</i> protein-coding gene in the species Homo sapiens

Breast cancer type 1 susceptibility protein is a protein that in humans is encoded by the BRCA1 gene. Orthologs are common in other vertebrate species, whereas invertebrate genomes may encode a more distantly related gene. BRCA1 is a human tumor suppressor gene and is responsible for repairing DNA.

BRCA2 protein-coding gene in the species Homo sapiens

BRCA2 and BRCA2 are a human gene and its protein product, respectively. The official symbol and the official name are maintained by the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee. One alternative symbol, FANCD1, recognizes its association with the FANC protein complex. Orthologs, styled Brca2 and Brca2, are common in other vertebrate species. BRCA2 is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans; its protein, also called by the synonym breast cancer type 2 susceptibility protein, is responsible for repairing DNA.

A preventive mastectomy or prophylactic mastectomy is an elective operation to remove the breasts so that the risk of breast cancer is reduced.

Side effects

According to cancer.org, aside from the post-surgical pain and the obvious change in the shape of the breast(s), possible side effects of a mastectomy include wound infection, hematoma (buildup of blood in the wound), and the seroma (buildup of clear fluid in the wound). If the lymph nodes are also removed, additional side effects may occur. [2]

Types

Currently, there are several surgical approaches to mastectomy, and the type that a person decides to undergo (or whether she or he will decide instead to have a lumpectomy) depends on factors such as the size, location, and behavior of the tumor (if one is present), whether or not the surgery is prophylactic, and whether the person intends to undergo reconstructive surgery. [3]

Before surgery

Before the operation, everyone will meet with the surgeon a few days before the surgery or even the day before, however, a much longer period is very beneficial since it allows the patient for a more objective weighing of the options. Although there is some urgency in timing the surgery, the patient needs some time after the initial shock of hearing the cancer verdict; otherwise, she may later regret her decision. The extent and specific details regarding the mastectomy will be discussed along with the person's medical history.

Of extreme importance will be the woman's decision whether the entire breast is to be removed, or only a part of it - and that is usually much more a personal choice than a medical assessment. The medical viewpoint stresses the statistical fact of much stronger chances for cure and survival when the breast is removed completely, even when the size of the cancer is small. From the personal viewpoint, the perspective of not having the breast is very painful and difficult to accept. At this point the support of the family and of good friends can make the difference between life and death, since it is easier for friends to present the after-the-surgery future in the "matter of fact" way, thus facilitating the reasonable decision. The dilemma of the vital importance will be weighing the aesthetics and pride, against the chances of curing and surviving, which are much better when the breast is removed 100% completely. During these considerations, very painful indeed, one needs to realize that a woman's flat chest without breasts, even without nipples, does not look bad at all, nothing to feel embarrassed of, or to be ashamed by; it looks just neutral - much better than a partly removed, disfigured breast. Since the surgery is unavoidable, for people open to see the problem in this way, the choice becomes easier.[ citation needed ]

Before the surgery the patient will have time to ask any questions regarding the procedure at this time and after everything is addressed a consent form is signed. Information about not eating or drinking anything beforehand will be gone over as well. The person will also meet with the anesthesiologist or the health professional who is going to be giving the anesthesia the day of the operation. [2] [ citation needed ]

Recent research has indicated that mammograms should not be done with any increased frequency than normal procedure in people undergoing breast surgery, including breast augmentation, mastopexy, and breast reduction. [12]

During surgery

The day of the operation the patient will have an IV line started, which will be used to give medicine. Since this is an extensive procedure the patient will be hooked up to an EKG machine and also have a blood pressure cuff to monitor vitals and the heart rhythm throughout the whole surgery. The anesthesia will be given, which will result in the person going to sleep. The timing of the surgery all depends on the extent and what type of mastectomy the patient will be having. [2]

After surgery

When the procedure is complete the patient will be taken to a recovery room where they are monitored until they wake up and their vital signs remain stable. It is normal for people that have mastectomies to remain in the hospitals for 1 to 2 nights and they are released to go home if they are doing well. The decision for discharge should be made by the doctor based on the person's overall health at the time. The person is dressed with a bandage over the surgery site that is wrapped around the chest snugly. It is common to have drains coming from the incision site to help remove blood and lymph to initiate the healing process. Patients may have to be taught to empty, care, and measure the fluid from the drains. Measuring the fluids will help identify any problems the doctors need to be aware of. Patients should be taught the effects of the surgery, such as regular activity may be altered. There is a possibility that pain, numbness, or tingling in the chest and arm could continue long after the surgery has been done. It is recommended that patients see their surgeon 7–14 days after the surgery, during this time the doctor will explain the results and talk about further treatment if needed such as radiation and chemotherapy. The doctor might refer the patient to a plastic surgeon if she showed interest in breast reconstruction surgery. [2]

Between 2005 and 2013, the overall rate of mastectomy increased 36 percent, from 66 to 90 per 100,000 adult women. The rate of hospital-based bilateral mastectomies (inpatient and outpatient combined) more than tripled, from 9.1 to 29.7 per 100,000 adult women, whereas the rate of unilateral mastectomies remained relatively stable at around 60 per 100,000 women. From 2005 to 2013, the rate of bilateral outpatient mastectomies increased more than fivefold and the inpatient rate nearly tripled. The rate of unilateral mastectomies nearly doubled in the outpatient setting but decreased 28 percent in the inpatient setting. By 2013, nearly half of all mastectomies were performed outpatient. [13]

Frequency

Mastectomy rates vary tremendously worldwide, as was documented by the 2004 'Intergroup Exemestane Study', [14] an analysis of surgical techniques used in an international trial of adjuvant treatment among 4,700 females with early breast cancer in 37 countries. The mastectomy rate was highest in central and eastern Europe at 77%. The USA had the second highest rate of mastectomy with 56%, western and northern Europe averaged 46%, southern Europe 42% and Australia and New Zealand 34%.

History

Mastectomy for breast cancer was performed at least as early as 548 AD, when it was proposed by the court physician Aëtius of Amida to Theodora. She declined the surgery, and died a few months later. [15] Al-Zahrawi, a tenth century Arab physician sometimes referred to as the "Father of surgery", [16] described what is thought to be the first attempt at reduction mammaplasty for the management of gynaecomastia. [16]

Female members of the Skoptsy sect in the Russian Empire also practiced mastectomy as a ritual alongside castration for men, in accordance with their belief that sexual desire was evil. [17]

The first picture of the results of breast cancer surgery was on the cover of the New York Times in 1993 by Winstein. This real picture of Matuschka with her scar outraged people. [18]

Society and culture

In recent years, designers have catered to the medical market and those affected by the surgical procedure. Many dresses designed with this market in mind have built-in padded cups or have pouches so that inserts of various sizes can be placed in either or both cups of the garment. Some fashion designers even produce mastectomy swimwear with a similar format in mind [19]

The term is from Greek μαστός "breast" and ἐκτομήektomia "cutting out".

See also

Related Research Articles

Breast reconstruction

Breast reconstruction is the rebuilding of a breast, usually in women. It involves using autologous tissue or prosthetic material to construct a natural-looking breast. Often this includes the reformation of a natural-looking areola and nipple. This procedure involves the use of implants or tissue taken from other parts of the woman's body.

Sex reassignment surgery for female-to-male transgender people includes a variety of surgical procedures that alter anatomical traits to provide physical traits more comfortable to the trans man's male identity and functioning. Non-binary people assigned female at birth may also have these surgeries.

Pagets disease of the breast type of cancer that outwardly may have the appearance of eczema, with skin changes involving the nipple of the breast.

Paget's disease of the breast is a type of cancer that outwardly may have the appearance of eczema, with skin changes involving the nipple of the breast. The condition is an uncommon disease accounting for 1 to 4.3% of all breast cancers and was first described by Sir James Paget in 1874. The condition in itself often appears innocuous, limited to a surface appearance and it is sometimes dismissed, although actually indicative of underlying breast cancer.

This is a list of terms related to oncology. The original source for this list was the US National Cancer Institute's public domain Dictionary of Cancer Terms.

Lumpectomy is a surgical removal of a discrete portion or "lump" of breast tissue, usually in the treatment of a malignant tumor or breast cancer. It is considered a viable breast conservation therapy, as the amount of tissue removed is limited compared to a full-breast mastectomy, and thus may have physical and emotional advantages over more disfiguring treatment. Sometimes a lumpectomy may be used to either confirm or rule out that cancer has actually been detected. A lumpectomy is usually recommended to patients whose cancer has been detected early and who do not have enlarged tumors. Although a lumpectomy is used to allow for most of the breast to remain intact, the procedure may result in adverse affects that can include sensitivity and result in scar tissue, pain, and possible disfiguration of the breast if the lump taken out is significant. According to National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines, lumpectomy may be performed for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), invasive ductal carcinoma, or other conditions.

Invasive carcinoma of no special type (NST) also known as invasive ductal carcinoma or ductal NOS and previously known as invasive ductal carcinoma, not otherwise specified (NOS) is a group of breast cancers that do not have the "specific differentiating features". Those that have these features belong to other types.

Radical mastectomy

Radical mastectomy is a surgical procedure involving the removal of breast, underlying chest muscle, and lymph nodes of the axilla as a treatment for breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women today, and is primarily treated by surgery, particularly during the early twentieth century when the mastectomy was developed with success. However, with the advancement of technology and surgical skills, the extent of mastectomies has been reduced. Less invasive mastectomies are employed today in comparison to those in the past. Nowadays, a combination of radiotherapy and breast conserving mastectomy are employed to optimize treatment.

Male chest reconstruction is any of various surgical procedures to masculinise the chest by removing breast tissue or altering the nipples and areolae. Male chest reconstruction may be performed in cases of gynecomastia and gender dysphoria. Transmasculine people may pursue chest reconstruction as part of transitioning.

Mastopexy is the plastic surgery mammoplasty procedure for raising sagging breasts upon the chest of the woman, by changing and modifying the size, contour, and elevation of the breasts. In a breast-lift surgery to re-establish an aesthetically proportionate bust for the woman, the critical corrective consideration is the tissue viability of the nipple-areola complex (NAC), to ensure the functional sensitivity of the breasts for lactation and breast-feeding.

Ductal carcinoma in situ Human disease

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), also known as intraductal carcinoma, is a pre-cancerous or non-invasive cancerous lesion of the breast. DCIS is classified as Stage 0. It rarely produces symptoms or a breast lump one can feel, and is usually detected through screening mammography.

Breast cancer management takes different approaches depending on physical and biological characteristics of the disease, as well as the age, over-all health and personal preferences of the patient. Treatment types can be classified into local therapy and systemic treatment. Local therapy is most efficacious in early stage breast cancer, while systemic therapy is generally justified in advanced and metastatic disease, or in diseases with specific phenotypes.

Breast-conserving surgery

Breast-conserving surgery (BCS), refers to an operation that aims to remove breast cancer while avoiding a mastectomy. Other terms for this operation include: lumpectomy, wide local excision, segmental resection, tylectomy, and quadrantectomy. BCS has been increasingly accepted as an alternative to mastectomy in specific patients, as it provides tumor removal while maintaining an acceptable cosmetic outcome. This page reviews the history of this operation, important considerations in decision making and patient selection, and the emerging field of oncoplastic breast conservation surgery.

A DIEP flap is a type of breast reconstruction in which blood vessels called deep inferior epigastric perforators (DIEP), as well as the skin and fat connected to them, are removed from the lower abdomen and transferred to the chest to reconstruct a breast after mastectomy without the sacrifice of any of the abdominal muscles.

Male breast cancer Human disease

Male breast cancer is a rare cancer in males that originates from the breast. Many males with breast cancer have inherited a BRCA mutation, but there are other causes, including alcohol abuse and exposure to certain hormones and ionizing radiation.

<i>BRCA</i> mutation

A BRCA mutation is a mutation in either of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are tumour suppressor genes. Hundreds of different types of mutations in these genes have been identified, some of which have been determined to be harmful, while others have no proven impact. Harmful mutations in these genes may produce a hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndrome in affected persons. Only 5-10% of breast cancer cases in women are attributed to BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, but the impact on women with the gene mutation is more profound. Women with harmful mutations in either BRCA1 or BRCA2 have a risk of breast cancer that is about five times the normal risk, and a risk of ovarian cancer that is about ten to thirty times normal. The risk of breast and ovarian cancer is higher for women with a high-risk BRCA1 mutation than with a BRCA2 mutation. Having a high-risk mutation does not guarantee that the woman will develop any type of cancer, or imply that any cancer that appears was actually caused by the mutation, rather than some other factor.

Bernard Fisher (scientist) biologist

Bernard Fisher, MD, FACS, is an American surgeon and a pioneer in the biology and treatment of breast cancer. He is a native of Pittsburgh. He was Chairman of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast Project at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His work established definitively that early-stage breast cancer could be more effectively treated by lumpectomy, in combination with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or hormonal therapy, than by radical mastectomy.

A quadrantectomy, also referred to as a segmental or partial mastectomy, is a surgical procedure for breast cancer in which one quarter of breast tissue is removed along with muscles of the chest wall within a 2 to 3 centimeter radius of a tumor. This procedure is an alternative to a radical or simple mastectomy, in which an entire breast is removed.

Prophylactic surgery, is a form of surgery whose purpose is to minimize or prevent the risk of developing cancer in an organ or gland that has yet to develop cancer and is known to be at high risk of developing cancer. This form of preventative healthcare may include surgeries such as mastectomies, oophorectomies, colectomies and surgical corrections, such as the surgical correction of cryptorchidism or undescended testis. Another less common definition of prophylactic surgery also includes the prevention of other diseases, outcomes or even future appearance.

References

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