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James Huth, M.D. Answers Questions On Breast Cancer Surgery

James Huth, M.D. Answers Questions On: Breast Cancer Surgery

How do you choose the right surgical treatment for a breast cancer patient?

UT Southwestern delivers the full spectrum of advanced options for the surgical management of all types and stages of breast cancer. These options include lumpectomy, mastectomy, double mastectomy with reconstruction (both immediate and delayed), and partial mastectomy.

The approach to treating breast cancer is much more variable than it is in other types of cancer, and it’s not always best to do surgery first. In some cases, chemotherapy or radiation therapy prior to surgery is the most likely path to a good outcome. In other cases, surgery followed by another type of therapy is the best bet.

As with the treatment of all types of cancers, we make our decisions about treating breast cancer based upon factors such as the size, stage, and location of the tumor, as well as the patient’s history, overall health, and preferences.

In addition, all UT Southwestern cancer patients can take advantage of the diverse range of related support services we offer – from rehabilitation to support groups to nutrition counseling.

What are some exciting developments in treating cancer?

The number of safe and effective drugs we can now offer cancer patients has drastically increased in recent years – and will continue to increase – which gives people a greater range of therapeutic options. 

In breast cancer, for example, new agents are coming out that precisely target the unique physiology and pathology of tumor cells. And in melanoma, novel immunotherapies and drugs aimed at genetic defects in cancer cells are promising, which is exciting news for patients.