While lumpectomy plus radiation is an excellent option for many women with breast cancer, it's not the best treatment for everyone.
Lumpectomy plus radiation may NOT be right for you under the following circumstances:
- You have already had radiation to the same breast for an earlier breast cancer. Radiation cannot be given twice to the same area.
- You have extensive cancer in the breast or have two or more separate areas of cancer in the same breast. If cancer is extensive or in multiple areas, a mastectomy may be required.
- You have a small breast and a large tumor and removing the tumor would be extremely disfiguring.
- Your surgeon has already made multiple attempts to remove the tumor with lumpectomy, but has not been able to completely remove the cancer and obtain clear margins.
- You have a connective tissue disease, such as lupus or vasculitis, which would make you sensitive to the side effects of radiation.
- You are pregnant. If you're pregnant, it's not safe to have radiation therapy.
- You are not willing to commit to the daily schedule of radiation therapy, or distance makes it impossible.
- You believe you would have greater peace of mind with a mastectomy.