Diseases of the breast can broadly be categorized into benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) problems.
The treatment of breast disease is a widely researched and ever changing topic. As such you need someone that is well versed in the subject of not only the surgical options of breast disease, but who actually needs surgery and the viable options available for each diagnosis. The surgeons of Southwest General Surgery follow the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines for the treatment of breast cancer, and also believe in the multidisciplinary care of our cancer patients. All patients are presented at a prospective breast cancer conference to allow collaboration of all the specialties involved in the care of the breast cancer patient. This allows input and coordination of all specialties to provide the best possible outcome for our patients.
At some point during the treatment of breast cancer, consultation with a surgeon will likely be required. The primary treatment of most breast cancers is surgical resection and lymph node staging of the cancer. There are exceptions to this though and occasionally chemotherapy is warranted before surgery. At Southwest General Surgery we are respectful of the wishes of our patients when deciding on lumpectomy, mastectomy, or even bilateral or double mastectomy. We will take the time to lay out the pros and cons of each and give the you all the information to make this incredibly personal decision. We also perform sentinel lymph biopsy, if appropriate, to limit the side effects of surgery to remove all the lymph nodes under the arm. Once the tumor is properly staged we can then talk about the appropriate treatment after surgery which could include chemotherapy, radiation, and/or hormonal therapy.
Benign diseases of the breast are often picked up by physical exam or imaging and referred to a surgeon for further evaluation and management. These can range to questionable findings on a needle biopsy to benign solid masses. Most of these can be treated with reassurance and close follow-up, but some are symptomatic or cause anxiety and excision can be indicated. We will discuss the options for treatment, both surgical and non-surgical, and allow patients to make the appropriate decision for themselves.
We also see many men with benign breast enlargement called gynecomastia. This too can be treated surgically or non-surgically, and we are happy to discuss these options with you.