Experiences with Lumpectomy

A lumpectomy is surgery done to remove only the cancerous lump and some surrounding tissue from the breast. How much of the breast is removed depends on the size and location of the tumor. A lumpectomy is considered breast-conserving surgery (BCS). Chemotherapy and then radiation therapy are often given after a lumpectomy to lower chance of recurrence. A sentinel lymph node biopsy may be done to determine if cancer has spread to other tissues of the body. Pathology results determine if the tissue has positive margins or clear margins. If the tissues have positive margins, then the surgeon may have to go in and remove more tissue, called a re-excision. If your surgeon cannot get clear margins, a mastectomy may be necessary. For women with stage I and II breast cancer, breast-conserving surgery with radiation therapy following is often effective. After a lumpectomy, the breast can often keep the same shape it had before. If the shape changes there are reconstructive surgery options. There is still a chance of recurrence, but you and your doctor must discuss the best options for you.

When talking to your doctor, you may wonder, “How successful is a lumpectomy?” or “Do I have to have radiation after a lumpectomy?”. A lot of women simply wonder, “Will my breast look normal after breast surgery?”, and what kind of post-lumpectomy care is necessary. But, one of the biggest questions is related to how you will feel after having breast surgery. One WhatNexter with invasive ductal carcinoma shared encouraging words to others, “It is humbling to stop looking like ‘me’, but oh, so powerful to know I still have the love, support, and respect of friends and family - no matter how I look”. If you have any questions, concerns, or stories to share, then post below. Read and gain insight by reading what others have shared about their journey.

Don't forget to view our Beginner's Guide to Cancer.

    • angelap
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    1 day ago
    angelap's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Was not a bad experience and incision looked great! Bad news was that the DCIS part (not the IDC) was still there, the margin was mi...

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    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    1 Comment
    • DonnaLisa
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrati...
    7 days ago
    DonnaLisa's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    This is my second lumpectomy. Had first one May 2015, Second one April 2017

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
    • shellshokd
    • Experience with Papillary Carcinoma...
    about 1 month ago
    shellshokd's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    abuse by doctor still affects me today

    Read More

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Ziggydagg
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrati...
    3 months ago
    Ziggydagg's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Seromas drained x 2 so far, infections x 2 so far.

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    6 Comments
    • LJJ
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    3 months ago
    LJJ's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I was Stage1a Breast Cancer, ER+, PR+ and HER2 was questionable, Biopsy HER2-, After Surgery Testing marginal HER2+ and retesting HE...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    1 Comment
    • annabell
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    3 months ago
    annabell's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Here I am sitting and hurt almost as bad as when the cancer was taken out and the doctors tell me it is not from my cancer but it di...

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    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • akwendi
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    3 months ago
    akwendi's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Ended up having 2nd lumpectomy due to the fact that margins were not clear

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    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  1. 4 months ago
    teresaholden's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    did not expect it to have spread outside the milk duct

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    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
    • Leemlin
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    4 months ago
    Leemlin's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    At the time of surgery, it was discovered that the tumors were not near my sternum in my right breast, but rather under my nipple? ...

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    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    2 Comments
    • Sushi
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    4 months ago
    Sushi's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    A great surgeon made the difference. Some pre-cancerous cells found in the margin during lab testing subsequent to the surgery.

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    0 Comments
    • jakkie
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    4 months ago
    jakkie's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Can't use left arm period.

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Schampion
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Brea...
    5 months ago
    Schampion's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I got a seroma that lasted a month. I had to have it drained twice. Very painful

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
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