We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Lumpectomy?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A lumpectomy is a surgical procedure which involves removing a tumor from the tissue of the breast. After removal, the tumor is analyzed by a pathologist to ensure that no unhealthy cells were left behind, and radiation is typically recommended for the patient to ensure that cancerous cells do not return. This surgical procedure is sometimes referred to as “breast-conserving surgery,” in a reference to the fact that the entire breast is not removed, and depending on a patient's individual situation, it may or may not be offered as a treatment option after a breast cancer diagnosis.

The term “lumpectomy” is a bit disingenuous, as it implies that a small lump of tissue is removed. In fact, in addition to the tumor, the surgeon typically takes a large margin of seemingly healthy tissue as well, to ensure that all of the potentially dangerous cells are removed. Lymph nodes in the region are also removed, as they commonly contain cancerous cells as well; some surgeons refer to a lumpectomy is a “lymph node dissection,” in a reference to this.

In a patient with very early stage breast cancer, a lumpectomy may indeed be small. However, there are times when a surgeon needs to take much more tissue, and the shape of the breast could potentially be disfigured. For some people, partial disfigurement is preferable to complete removal of the breast, although reconstructive surgery can be used in either case to restore the breast to a relatively normal looking state, if desired.

A lumpectomy is also not the end of the treatment; most doctors will recommend frequent radiation after a lumpectomy as well. This is an important thing to consider when thinking about a lumpectomy, as the radiation may take place as often as every day, and this can get very grueling. It is also important to engage in preventative care including regular mammograms and breast exams after a lumpectomy, to ensure that the cancer has not returned. In all cases, make yourself an informed patient before you make a decision: ask a lot of questions, do lots of research, and take advantage of local cancer resource centers to get additional information about your options, support during treatment, and the difficulties you may face.

Lumpectomies are not an option for all patients. Patients who have experienced previous cancers may need to get a mastectomy, which involves the removal of all of the breast tissue. Some cancers are also too aggressive for lumpectomies to be safe, especially if the cancer is caught late. In any case, you should always discuss treatment options carefully with a surgeon before proceeding, and ask for an estimate of how much tissue may be removed from your breast, to ensure that you are prepared for the way you might look after surgery. Be aware that surgeons can sometimes discover unique situations once they actually open up the surgical site, and they may take more or less tissue than expected, or they may stop the surgery altogether and ask you to consider other treatment options.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.