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Lumpectomy – also called segmental mastectomy – is a form of breast-sparing surgery in which the surgeon removes the breast cancer and some normal tissue around it.
An incision is made over the lump and it is removed in one piece with some normal surrounding breast tissue. The lump is then sent to the pathologist for examination, and the skin is stitched back together. A lumpectomy is possible only if the lump is detected at an early stage, when the cancer is relatively small. Often, some of the lymph nodes are also removed as part of the procedure. Treatment will depend on the size and spread of the tumor. Most women receive radiation therapy to destroy any cancer cells remaining in the area after a lumpectomy to reduce the chance that the cancer may recur.