If your lump is relatively large compared with the size of the breast then it may be necessary to remove the whole breast to make sure the cancer is completely removed (a mastectomy).
At the time of surgery if possible, your surgeon may rebuild your breast at the same time through immediate reconstruction. This could be either done by your breast surgeon itself or they may opt to work alongside a plastic surgeon as part of the operation.
In some cases, if your large cancer becomes possible for your surgeon to shrink before surgery then breast conserving surgery becomes possible.
Segmental mastectomy (quadrantectomy)
Depending on the site and the size of your underlying cancer, your surgeon will remove a segment of the breast containing the tumour.
During this operation your surgeon will opt to remove your breast completely. There are several reasons why a total mastectomy may be needed:
- If your cancer is multi-centric – that means it occurs simultaneously in several different areas of your breast
- There may be a large single cancer in the middle of your breast