Author(s): Apantaku LM
Surgical treatment of breast cancer has changed significantly in recent years. Fine-needle aspirations or core-needle biopsies can be used in the diagnostic process, thus avoiding scarring incisions. The preferred method of treatment for many women with early breast cancer is conservative surgical therapy (principally lumpectomy and axillary dissection) followed by breast irradiation. Sentinel node biopsy is being investigated as an alternative to standard axillary node dissection. This could decrease morbidity following standard axillary dissection. These techniques allow women with different forms of breast cancer to conserve their breasts. For women who choose mastectomy, immediate reconstruction of the breast is now routinely performed with a prosthetic implant or autologous tissue. Clinical history, physical examination, and breast imaging are the most effective means of follow-up.