Mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely.
A mastectomy is usually carried out to treat breast cancer. In some cases, women and some men believed to be at high risk of breast cancer have the operation prophylactically, that is, as a preventive measure. It is also the medical procedure carried out to remove breast cancer tissue in males. Alternatively, some patients can choose to have a wide local excision, also known as a lumpectomy, an operation in which a small volume of breast tissue containing the tumor and a surrounding margin of healthy tissue is removed to conserve the breast.
Lumpectomy (aka: tylectomy) is a common surgical procedure designed to remove a discrete lump, usually a malignant tumor or breast cancer, from an affected woman’s or man’s breast. As the tissue removed is usually limited and the procedure relatively non-invasive, compared to a mastectomy, a lumpectomy is considered a viable means of “breast conservation” or “breast preservation” surgery with all the attendant physical and emotional advantages of such an approach.