Q. Is it necessary to remove the entire breast in case of cancer?

Answered by
Dr. Bharat Patodiya
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 28, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

My mother-in-law got operated for breast lump at before 15 days. We sent that lump to the clinic for further test and found that the lump has cancer cells. Before 13 years, she was operated for the same reason in the same breast, but that time it was a normal lump. Now, we did PET CT scan after 8 days of operation and no infection was found. Do we still need to remove her entire breast and proceed with chemotherapy?



Welcome to

  • I could not find hormone status and HER2 report. Is it done and awaited? The decision of chemotherapy is greatly influenced by those reports.
  • Moreover, the margin seems to be positive and this may need a revision surgery. The pathologist and surgeon needs to discuss.

Revert back with the reports to a medical oncologist online -->

Thank you doctor,

We do not have ER and HER2 reports, but we can have those. My main question is do we need to remove her breast even the ER and HER2 reports are normal? We went to a local doctor and they are not providing exact guidance about it. They are saying that we need to remove the breast first. They will send the sample to the laboratory for further test and then we decide chemotherapy is compulsory or not. Here, the doctor said that removing the breast is compulsory as per current reports and I have a concern here. We already removed infected lump and as per biopsy report except the lump there is no infection and in PET CT scan nothing found. Then, why the doctor is suggesting breast removal?



Welcome back to

  • Firstly, since the margin is positive, your surgeon is telling to remove the whole breast. It is a justifiable step if breast size is small and cosmetically appealing result will not be there if breast conserving surgery is done.
  • Secondly, ER and HER2 can be done on your current tissue samples. This is a must step before anything can be said about the chemotherapy.
  • She is fairly in early disease and may not require chemotherapy if things turn out favorably in ER and HER2 report.
  • As for your main question that whether the surgery is required or not, I will suggest to go ahead with surgery. This surgery that is the removal of whole breast or part of it is based on the breast size and the desire of woman to preserve her breast. It is highly recommended to utilize the service of the breast oncology surgeon.

For further information consult a medical oncologist online -->

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