The most prevalent cancer in the world is Breast Cancer & nearly one in 4 women with cancer in the world have breast cancer. Half of these are in developing countries. The primary goal in the treatment of breast cancer is to control the disease with the aim of achieving a cure. The attempt to preserve the breast without compromising survival brought up the use of breast-conserving therapy which includes breast-conserving surgery + breast radiotherapy. Prior to the advent of BCS, all breast cancers were treated with mastectomy which requires loss of a breast. BCS removes cancer while having as many normal breasts as possible. BCS allows a woman to retain most of her breast but requires radiation.
The time following a cancer diagnosis may be filled with fear, vulnerability & a sense of being overwhelmed at the amount of information being provided by physicians as well as assessed on the internet. There are several important misconceptions regarding BCS for patients which need to be cleared.
- Inappropriately selected patients, mastectomy & BCS have equivalent survival rates.
- Undergoing mastectomy does not eliminate the risk for recurrent or new cancer.
- Radiation therapy may still be needed following mastectomy.
- The need for chemotherapy is independent of the surgical options. Oncoplastic surgery in Integrates Plastic Surgery principles in order to preserve aesthetic outcomes & quality of life without compromising local control of cancer.
BCS is a good option for women with early-stage cancers & also for women who are very concerned about losing a breast & are willing to receive radiation therapy have an appropriate tumor to breast size ratio, have only a single area of cancer in the breast, or multiple areas that are close enough to be removed together.