Lumpectomy (lum-PEK-tuh-me) is surgery to remove cancer or other abnormal tissue from your breast. Lumpectomy is also called breast-conserving or breast-sparing surgery because — unlike a mastectomy — only a portion of the breast is removed. Doctors may also refer to lumpectomy as a wide local excision. During lumpectomy, a small amount of normal tissue around the lump (clean margins) 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 reduce the chances of cancer returning.

Oct. 28, 2011