Over the last 20 years, the treatment of breast cancer has changed multiple times. It started with aggressive surgical treatments focused on regionally managing the disease and has evolved to become a multidisciplinary therapy that treats the disease both locally and systemically.
What this means is that there are much fewer radical mastectomies done recently when compared to 20 years ago. More surgical procedures in today’s time involve breast-sparing surgeries that are much less disfiguring to the woman with breast cancer.
Another change has been in the surgical evaluation of the lymph nodes in breast cancer patients. Patients used to get the entire removal of axillary (underarm lymph nodes).
Now just the sentinel lymph node is biopsied, which carries a decrease in morbidity when compared to removing all the lymph nodes.
Source: 1. Novoa AG, Negril BA. Controversies in Axillary Treatment of Breast Cancer Patients and Metastatic Sentinel Lymph Node. Journal of Cancer Science and Treatment. 2016 Mar; 8(3).
Dr. Adem Gunes