The goal of lumpectomy is to remove cancer or other abnormal tissue while maintaining the appearance of your breast. Studies indicate that lumpectomy is as effective a treatment as removal of the entire breast (mastectomy) for women with early-stage breast cancer. Your doctor may recommend lumpectomy if a biopsy has shown that you have cancer and that the cancer is believed to be small and early stage. Lumpectomy may also be used to remove certain noncancerous or precancerous breast abnormalities.

You may not be a candidate for lumpectomy for breast cancer if you:

  • Have a history of scleroderma, a group of diseases that harden skin and other tissues
  • Have a history of systemic lupus erythematosus, a chronic inflammatory disease
  • Have two or more tumors in different quadrants of your breast
  • Have previously had radiation treatment to the breast region
  • Have cancer spread throughout your breast
  • Have a large tumor and small breasts, which may cause a poor cosmetic result
  • Don't have access to radiation therapy
Oct. 28, 2011