Diseases Cancer

How Long After Breast Removal Before You Are Cancer Free

Mastectomy and Cancer

Every time a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, after the panic has died down, when the treatments and procedures are discussed, mastectomy might come as one of the possible options to soon be cancer free. But depending on the stage the cancer has been diagnosed at, some doctors may not suggest this procedure right away; at least not before trying any other treatments for cancer.


Mastectomy would sometimes come into the picture as an option for preventive measure. Not all breast cancer affects both breasts. The idea of undergoing mastectomy and remove the infected breast is to prevent it from spreading to the other breast. This procedure would remove the infected breast including the nipple and the areola hoping that it has not spread to the other breast yet.


Depending on the size of the tumor, doctors may give the breast cancer patient the chance to choose between lumpectomy and mastectomy. But if the person has tumor in more than one quadrant of the breast, it is likely that doctors would suggest mastectomy to patients instead of lumpectomy have better chances of being cancer free.

Risks of Mastectomy

This surgery can also come with some risks like any other surgeries. Although most women can recover with no complications whatsoever after the surgery, there are still a few reported risks.


Some known risks of surgeries that may also happen in a mastectomy are infections, bleeding, reaction to medications and risks that are mostly associated with general anesthesia.


There are also risks that are related to the mastectomy procedure itself. Some would feel some numbness of the breast skin and experience tissue death of the breast skin (or necrosis). When a patient experiences necrosis, there might be a need to go back to the operating room to revise the scar.

Survival Rate After Mastectomy

After the surgery, there is not telling if the patient is already cancer free. There are still other treatments that might be necessary to ensure that there will be no recurrence of the tumor.


The survival rate of women with breast cancer and have gone through mastectomy may increase to 90% within the 10-year survival rate. If a woman would go through mastectomy, the risk of recurrence in the breast or the chest wall is slimmer compared to those who would choose to go through lumpectomy and radiation. The risk of recurrence within the 20 years is just 3%-5% compared to the 15%-20% of the other surgery.


To better improve the chances of survival and be cancer free, it can also be suggested by the doctor for the patient to go through treatments like hormonal therapy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Mastectomy Can Increase Survival Rate

Undergoing mastectomy may not be a sure-fire way to be cancer free and survive cancer for good but it can better your chances. As long as the breast cancer is detected in its earliest stage, the survival rates are still high. If mastectomy is being done on the patient, the survival rate would even look way much better than other surgeries and treatments.

By Greggy Rick Go, published at 03/10/2012
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How Long After Breast Removal Before You Are Cancer Free. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.

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