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Weaver C
Caring for a patient after mastectomy
Nursing. 2009 May;39(5) :44-8
PMID: 19395936   
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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, and the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer. In 2008, about 182,460 women were expected to be diagnosed with either invasive or noninvasive breast cancer. Because most breast cancers are diagnosed at an early stage, thanks to the success of mammography screening, many women have several treatment options. Breast conserving surgery (a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy) is the most common local treatment for breast cancer. However, mastectomy, which involves removal of all the breast tissue, is still performed in some situations; for example, if the tumor is 5 cm or larger, if the tumor is large compared with breast size and a lumpectomy would result in a poor cosmetic outcome, if clear margins couldn't be obtained with a reexcision of a lumpectomy site, or if the procedure is being done for breast cancer risk reduction. A woman undergoing mastectomy will need more nursing care than one undergoing lumpectomy, as well as extra emotional support and extensive patient education about postoperative care. Let's look at what you'll need to know.
Weaver, Carolyn United States Nursing Nursing. 2009 May;39(5):44-8.