Elyse Caplan remembers it well, that first conversation with her oncologist. She had just been diagnosed with stage IIB breast cancer, and they were discussing the game plan for treatment. If her oncologist mentioned "recurrence" -- the possibility that her cancer could return -- it was lost on her, she says.
"You sit through an hour-long appointment and take notes, but when the doctor says one thing that's very upsetting, you just freeze," she tells WebMD. "You're thinking, 'I'm going to lose my...
Besides removing the breast, radical mastectomy is no longer performed surgery that also takes out lymph nodes in the arm pit and part of the chest wall. See a drawing of the area covered and read a short description.
During a modified radical mastectomy, the surgeon removes the breast (including the skin, breast tissue, areola, and nipple) and most of the lymph nodes under the arm. This surgery is now performed instead of a radical mastectomy as it has proven to be equally as effective and less disfiguring. Learn more about how this surgery is performed.