One of our surgeons will discuss options such as breast conserving surgery (lumpectomy, also known as partial mastectomy) or mastectomy. The type of surgery depends on each patient's individual diagnosis. In some cases, mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction can be performed in a single procedure, eliminating the need for two separate hospitalizations.
A note on completion axillary dissection: The Breast Cancer Program at Norris Cotton Cancer Center is pleased to see the February 9, 2011 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the related news stories outlining the results from the ACOSOG Z11 trial. Since June 2010, when these data were publicized at national meetings, we have adopted these important findings into our comprehensive practice. We no longer advocate completion axillary dissection in women with low-risk breast cancer with minimal nodal disease who undergo lumpectomy and radiation therapy. We do caution our patients who opt for mastectomy that these results are not validated in this patient population. We particularly would like to thank our own Dartmouth patients whom we enrolled on this landmark trial. Their contributions have positively impacted the care of future patients with breast cancer.