Lumpectomy (lum-PEK-tuh-me) is surgery to remove cancer or other abnormal tissue from your breast.

Lumpectomy is also called breast-conserving surgery or wide local excision because — unlike a mastectomy — only a portion of the breast is removed. Doctors may also refer to lumpectomy as an excisional biopsy.

During lumpectomy, a small amount of normal tissue around the lump (also described as clean or normal margins of breast tissue) also is taken to help ensure that all the cancer or other abnormal tissue is removed.

Lumpectomy helps confirm a diagnosis of cancer or rule it out. Lumpectomy is also a first treatment option for some women with early-stage breast cancer. In cases where cancer is found, lumpectomy usually is followed by radiation therapy to the breast to reduce the chances of cancer returning.

Oct. 23, 2014