Short Answer is it depends. It depends on many factors, some of which are cancer specific, some are patient specific and some are surgeon specific.
Assuming the cancer biology allows it and the patient wishes to preserve the breast, it then comes down to the technical expertise of your surgeon.
There are two main approaches to Breast Preservation in Breast Cancer: The Standard approach and the Oncoplastic approach. Most breast surgeons can offer Standard approach, but only a few at this stage are trained to offer Oncoplastic approach.
Both Standard and Oncoplastic approaches are designed to remove cancer effectively, but only Oncoplastic approach also considers the aesthetic outcome of the operation. This approach (which involves many different specific techniques, grouped under the name Oncoplastic approach, with the specific technique used depending on the actual situation for individual patient) is designed to improve the final cosmetic result.
It does this by minimizing scarring, maintaining shape of the breast and keeping it free of holes/divots and deformity (which may occur with a standard approach) and maintaining symmetry of the breast by addressing the other unaffected breast if required.
An appropriately trained specialist Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon only is able to offer the Oncoplastic approach, due to high level of expertise required to achieve good outcomes.
Therefore, when considering your options it is important to weigh up the goals of the operation and what is an acceptable result for you at the completion of treatment.
For more information on Oncoplastic surgery and Oncoplastic approaches please visit my website oncoplasticdoctor.com.au
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