All of our highly-skilled breast surgeons are board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and are members of the American Society of Breast Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.
Surgical treatment options include:
- Lumpectomy - breast-sparing surgery where the surgeon removes the cancer and margin of normal tissue surrounding the cancer.
- Mastectomy - complete removal of the breast tissue, including the nipple but not the muscle of the chest wall.
- Nipple-sparing mastectomy - complete removal of the breast tissue, excluding the nipple and the muscle of the chest wall.
- Sentinel lymph node biopsy - lymph nodes most likely containing cancer are removed.
- Axillary node dissection - the fat containing lymph nodes is removed to determine if the lymph nodes contain cancer.
- Breast biopsies - procedure to remove a small sample of breast tissue for laboratory testing. Breast biopsy is considered the best way to evaluate a suspicious area in your breast to determine if it is breast cancer.
- Treatment of benign breast problems/issues such as fibrocystic condition
- Prophylactic mastectomy - surgery to remove one or both breasts to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, prophylactic mastectomy in high-risk women may be able to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by 90 percent.
Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)
Lovelace Women’s Hospital offers intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) to treat early stage breast cancer. IORT allows our radiation oncologists to deliver a precise beam of radiation during the time of a patient’s lumpectomy. This differs from external beam radiation, a method which delivers radiation to a large part of the body during several appointments.
After the lumpectomy is complete, our radiation oncologists place the IORT device directly into the tumor bed.
Benefits of IORT:
- IORT spares healthy tissue. This method allows our radiation oncologists to deliver a precise dose of radiation to the affected area, instead of exposing a larger part of the body.
- IORT shortens treatment time. Since this is completed directly after the patient’s tumor has been removed, it may eliminate the need for additional radiation therapy treatments. This is an excellent option for patients who live outside of the Albuquerque area and travel for treatment.
Who is a candidate for IORT?
- IORT works best on early stage breast cancer and for patients over 50, with a small lesion with no lymph node involvement.
- Patients who live outside of Albuquerque. If you live in a rural area or travel to Albuquerque for your breast cancer treatment, IORT may be a great treatment method for you.
The Breast Care Center at Lovelace Women’s Hospital offers the MarginProbe System to patients undergoing surgery for breast cancer.
During a lumpectomy, the breast surgeon will remove the cancerous tumor and some of the surrounding tissue (called “margin”) to determine if there are any remaining cancer cells. Traditionally, the tissue is examined by a pathologist and the process can take several days to confirm results. If the results show that cancer cells are still present in the margin, more surgeries are required to remove the tissue.
However, by using the MarginProbe System, our breast surgeon can determine results in real-time during surgery. The MarginProbe System differentiates between the regular cells of healthy tissue and cancerous cells by assessing the electromagnetic response of tissue during the lumpectomy. The system allows our surgeon to achieve a “clean margin”, meaning there are no cancer cells left at the edge of the removed tissue. This also greatly reduces the need for re-excision surgery, benefiting the patient emotionally and financially.
Who is a candidate for MarginProbe?
- All patients who undergo a lumpectomy
Consultations with plastic surgeons to perform breast reconstruction are available as well as a Post-Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Program at the Lovelace Women's Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation Clinic.
To schedule an appointment at the Breast Care Center, please call 505.727.6700.