Breast Cancer Awareness: What surgical procedures do most patients undergo after a diagnosis?

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 5:57 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and TV20 is teaming up with North Florida Regional Medical Center to keep you up to date with the latest information and recommendations.

“There’s nothing bigger than having to, all of a sudden, be told that you have breast cancer and have to confront your mortality,” The Surgical Group of Gainesville General Surgeon Dr. Pete Sarantos said.

Breast cancer is a disease that affects men and women all throughout the year. This week, we heard from a general surgeon who explained two different procedures patients might have to undergo to remove their breast cancer.

“Because breast cancer is so prevalent, everyone knows someone who has had breast cancer,” Dr. Sarantos said.

When a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer, medical experts say it is important to meet their breast team, which can include breast cancer navigators and surgeons.

“We try to direct the patient to make sure that they make a good informed decision but the decision is ultimately theirs,” Dr. Sarantos said.

Dr. Sarantos also said some patients decide to have a lumpectomy, also known as a partial mastectomy, where the cancer is removed with a margin of normal tissue around it.

“If you do a lumpectomy you do have to commit to doing radiation therapy afterward,” Dr. Sarantos said.

When a patient gets a mastectomy, their entire breast is removed.

“I always encourage my patients to seek medical opinions and use good medical data. You have to be cautious because the bifurcation points for treatment are so many that its difficult to equate your breast cancer with the breast cancer of a relative or friend,”

According to health experts, breast cancer diagnoses have been down since the start of the pandemic, which makes it even more important to ask questions and get screened.

“It is an opportunity for us in the medical community to inform people about breast cancer earlier. catch breast cancer earlier. When we catch it earlier, obviously outcomes are better,” Dr. Sarantos said.

For more information on how to schedule a consultation or screening, click here.

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