Treatment in breast cancer was generally to remove and evacuate the armpit until the last 15-20 years. But advances have shown that over the years, performing larger surgery is not beneficial to the patient. Especially with the developments in other branches, radiotherapy and medical oncology, it has been understood that it is possible to get good results with more limited surgery.
The survival results obtained with more limited surgery and added radiotherapy were shown to be the same as with surgery that took the whole breast. The difference is this: Cancer may recur more frequently but the extent of surgery does not affect the patient’s life expectancy. It is possible to achieve the same results with more limited surgery. Both surgical studies and developments in other branches that accompany surgery allow this to happen. Besides the breast, the armpit was also being evacuated. When you drain a large portion of the armpit, and when radiotherapy is applied on top of it, incurable swelling and lymphedema occur in the arm in one of the 5 patients. It is a bad and crippling condition.
We have turned to limited surgeries, both in the breast and in the armpit procedures. If the tumor is too large, it is possible to shrink it first by giving chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and then a safer procedure called mastectomy or a more limited breast surgery is possible in a patient who is considered to have a mastectomy. This shows us the following: If treatment with other medical fields is started jointly in more advanced cases, it is possible to obtain results with more limited surgery. With these treatments, the armpits are pre-affected and be removed completely. I am talking about advanced local adverse conditions. However, limited surgeries are still possible in early cases.
Sometimes breast and tumor may be disproportionate, the tumor may be a little bigger. How do we make it smaller? In these cases, breast surgery called oncoplastic surgery comes to the fore. A good result can be obtained with special techniques without removing the whole breast. Our goal is, on the one hand, we want to save the life of the patient, on the other hand, we want to keep the quality of life high. To achieve this, we get help from both surgery and other disciplines, and with more limited surgery, it is possible to get the best results with a better shape as today’s medicine proves it.
There are serious advances in our age in both the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. We are moving towards getting better results with fewer treatments.
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