Guide to Breast Cancer Treatment - Patient Guide

Guide to Breast Cancer Treatment - Patient Guide

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by Justin Kelly, Maria Whelan and Michael Kerin

This guide has been developed in order to provide patients and doctors with a simple and understandable guide to some of the operations and interventions employed in the setting of a breast cancer surgery service.

We hope that this will provide a useful baseline for an informed discussion between patients and their medical carers, be it, surgeon, nurse or family doctor.

The diagrams are not intended to be anatomically accurate but are intended to provide a simple outline of the principles involved in any of the procedures.


Normal Breast Anatomy 
Anatomy of Breast Cancer 
Principles of Benign Breast Surgery 

Breast Cancer Surgical Procedures
Breast Incisions 
Diagnostic Breast Surgery/Triple assessment 
Breast Mammograms 
Fine Needle Aspiration 
Core Biopsy 
FNAC vs Core Biopsy 
Breast MDM 
Open Breast Biopsy (Benign) 
Nipple Discharge/Mammary Ductoscopy 
Biopsy of Impalpable Lesion 
Lumpectomy for Cancer 
Sentinel Node Biopsy 
Simple Mastectomy 
a) Oblique Flap 
b) Transverse Flap 
c) Fishtail 
Axillary Clearance
Paravertebral Blocks 

Breast Reconstruction 
a) Expander / Implant 
b) Latissimus Dorsi ± Prosthesis 
c) TRAM Flap 
d) Other flaps 
e) Nipple Reconstruction 
f) Symmetrisation 

Cosmetic Surgery
a) Augmentation 
b) Reduction / Mastopexy 
c) Periareolar Mastopexy 

Other Therapies
Breast Cancer Treatment 
Hormonal Therapies 

Research and Trials
Clinical Trials 
Prognostic Factors 
Breast Cancer Genetics