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Surgery as a Treatment for Breast Cancer

Most breast cancer patients have surgery to remove the cancerous tissue. There are different degrees of surgery, depending on the extent and type of cancer. A lumpectomy is removal of the tumor or lump only; a partial mastectomy removes a portion of the breast; a modified radical mastectomy is removal of the complete breast and the lining over the chest muscles, and a radical mastectomy is removal of the complete breast, underlying chest muscles and some or all of the lymph nodes under the arm. A woman's self-image and ability to function can be significantly affected by breast cancer surgery, and there are physical and emotional ramifications. Surround yourself with a strong support system and keep in mind that losing your breast could be saving your life.

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