Desert West Surgery
General & Minimally Invasive Surgeons & Surgical Oncologists located in Las Vegas, NV
It’s estimated that 12% of women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetimes. Whether you need a biopsy to diagnose a suspicious lump or surgery to treat breast cancer, you can count on receiving compassionate and experienced care from the doctors at Desert West Surgery. If you have questions or need guidance about how to proceed after a lump is discovered, call one of the three offices in Las Vegas, Nevada, or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.
Breast Surgery Q & A
What symptoms indicate that I may have breast cancer?
The most common breast cancer symptoms include:
- Lump or thickening in your breast
- Change in the size, shape, or appearance of your breast
- Change in the appearance of the skin over your breast
- Peeling or crusting of the skin around your nipple
- Discharge from your nipple
- Newly inverted nipple
You may also develop breast itchiness, redness, or swelling from some types of breast cancer.
What increases my risk for breast cancer?
Your chances of developing breast cancer increase as you get older, with most cases diagnosed after the age of 55. You’re also at a higher risk if you meet any of the following criteria:
- Overweight or obese
- Family history of breast cancer
- Diagnosed with benign breast disease
- Early menstruation or late menopause
- First pregnancy after 30
- Radiation exposure for cancer treatment
Inherited genetic mutations of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes significantly raise your risk for breast cancer.
How is breast cancer diagnosed?
When a suspicious lump has been identified by a mammogram or ultrasound, the next step is a biopsy, which is the only way to determine whether your lump is cancerous or benign.
The doctors at Desert West Surgery perform four types of breast biopsies:
- Fine needle aspiration
- Core needle biopsy
- Vacuum-assisted core biopsy
- Open or surgical biopsy
Each biopsy removes increasingly more tissue, beginning with a small sample of cells during a fine needle aspiration, and ending with removing all or part of the lump in a surgical biopsy.
How is breast cancer treated?
After your breast cancer is diagnosed, the type of surgery used to remove the tumor depends on the type of cancer, its size, and whether it has spread. The doctors at Desert West Surgery take time to explain your options, answer your questions, and guide your treatment decision.
Your surgical options include:
Lumpectomy or breast-conserving surgery
During a lumpectomy, your surgeon removes the tumor and a small portion of the surrounding tissue. This procedure keeps most of your breast intact, however, you’ll likely need radiation to destroy any cancer cells that are still in your breast. Lymph nodes may also be removed to determine whether the cancer has spread.
During a mastectomy, your surgeon removes the entire breast, but the amount of skin or muscle removed depends on the type of mastectomy:
- Total or simple mastectomy removes the breast tissue
- Modified radical mastectomy removes the breast and lymph nodes under your arm
- Radical mastectomy removes the breast, chest muscles, and all the lymph nodes
- Skin-sparing or nipple-sparing mastectomy removes the breast tissue but leaves the skin or nipple intact
You don’t need to face breast cancer alone; the doctors at Desert West Surgery are available to help. Call one of the offices or book an appointment online.