Is there any other method of treating a cancer of the breast aside from removing it?
The surgery of curable breast cancer is controversial principally in regard to whether the breast alone should be removed (a simple mastectomy) or whether the breast should be removed together with the underlying chest wall muscles and the contents of the armpit (a radical mastectomy). The latter has been the procedure advised in most medical centers in this country. In cases of old age or poor general condition, the simpler procedure is always chosen. Sometimes only the tumor is removed, leaving the remainder of the breast intact.
This has been termed a lumpectomy. Some surgeons also do more extensive operations that entail removing part of the chest wall (a super radical mastectomy). Others do only a simple breast removal and later give radiation treatments. Each has its place. Just as one size dress does not fit everybody, so the operative procedure is tailored to fit the needs of the individual patient, insofar as we know how to do this.