In many cases of breast cancer, removal of the entire breast is unnecessary. A procedure such as a segmental mastectomy can be performed. In segmental mastectomy, the cancer and a larger area of normal breast tissue around it are removed. Lymph nodes under the arm and the lining over the chest muscles below the tumor also may be removed.
Update Date 11/15/2013
Updated by: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, General Surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.