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What Is Breast Cancer? (video)

How is breast cancer treated?

How is breast cancer treated?

Mary Wilde, MD, a surgical oncologist at Scripps Clinic who specializes in breast surgery for Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center, explains what causes breast cancer, what cancer lumps feel like and available treatment options, including lumpectomy.

Video transcript

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is actually a group of diseases. It's abnormal breast cells that can go on to spread to other parts of the body, and can harm a patient.

What do breast cancer lumps feel like?

Breast cancer lumps come in a whole variety. They can be the classic hard pebble-like feeling. They can be sort of rubbery. They generally don't move around through the breast and they're not generally soft, although they can be in some cases.

What is a lumpectomy?

A lumpectomy is removing a part of the breast that contains an abnormality, usually a breast cancer, but not always. It is not removing the whole breast, but just removing a part of that breast.

Is chemotherapy or radiation necessary after breast surgery?

There are many different patterns for breast cancer treatment. Most patients require surgery of some sort. Some patients also are benefited by chemotherapy and some are benefited by radiation. So it's often a combination of those three, or two of those three modalities.

Watch more Ask the Expert videos now for quick answers to common medical questions.