Breast surgery

Surgery is the first treatment for most people with breast cancer.

The two main types of breast surgery are:

  • breast-conserving surgery: the cancer is removed along with a margin (border) of normal breast tissue
  • mastectomy: removal of all the breast tissue including the nipple area

Sometimes chemotherapy, hormone therapy or targeted therapy is offered before surgery.

The type of surgery recommended depends on the type and size of the cancer, where it is in the breast and whether more than one area of the breast is affected. It will also depend on the size of breast.

The breast team will explain why they think a particular operation is best.

Some or all of the lymph nodes may be removed with the breast tissue.