October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection and treatment. At Lakeland Surgical Clinic, PLLC, located in Jackson, Mississippi, we are committed to supporting individuals on their journey to defeat breast cancer.
An important aspect of treatment is understanding the different stages of breast cancer and the corresponding surgical treatment options. Read on to learn more about the various stages of breast cancer and the surgical interventions we may recommend as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Stage 0: Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS)
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, or DCIS, is the earliest stage of breast cancer, where abnormal cells are found in the milk ducts but have not spread into nearby tissue. Surgical treatment for DCIS often involves breast-conserving surgery, such as lumpectomy.
During a lumpectomy, our team removes the cancerous tissue while preserving as much healthy breast tissue as possible. Radiation therapy may also be recommended to reduce the risk of recurrence.
Stage I and II: Invasive breast cancer
In stages I and II of invasive breast cancer, the tumor is still relatively small and contained within the breast or nearby lymph nodes. Surgical options may include:
A lumpectomy involves removing the tumor and a small margin of surrounding tissue while preserving the breast.
Some patients may opt for a mastectomy, where the entire breast is removed. In some cases, a double mastectomy may be recommended, particularly for individuals with a significant family history of breast cancer.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy
Our team may perform a sentinel lymph node biopsy during surgery to determine if the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes. Additional lymph node removal may be necessary if cancer is present in the sentinel lymph nodes.
Stage III: Locally advanced breast cancer
Stage III breast cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or tissues. Surgical options may include:
A mastectomy may still be recommended, but in some cases, the extent of tissue removal may be more extensive.
Axillary lymph node dissection
In addition to sentinel lymph node biopsy, a more extensive removal of lymph nodes in the underarm (axillary lymph nodes) may be necessary.
Stage IV: Metastatic breast cancer
At stage IV, breast cancer has spread to distant organs such as the lungs, liver, bones, or brain. Surgery may not be the primary treatment at this stage, but it may be used to manage symptoms or complications. Other treatments, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or hormone therapy, are typically the main focus of care.
Early breast cancer detection through regular screening is essential to catching the disease at its earliest and most treatable stages. If you or a loved one is facing a breast cancer diagnosis, remember that you are not alone — there are dedicated healthcare professionals, like us at Lakeland Surgical Center, ready to support you.
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let's continue to raise awareness, promote early detection, and advocate for comprehensive breast cancer care. Call today or use the online tool to schedule your appointment.