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Treatment of Stage I Breast Cancer
Patients with stage I breast cancer usually undergoes lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy. Some patients with stage I breast cancer may choose the option of mastectomy. Sometimes the nature of the tumor may require a mastectomy as the only option. Surgery would usually include exploration and removal of lymph nodes from the armpit area. Radiation therapy is given only if lumpectomy is done or if the surgical cut margins are involved with cancer. Patients may opt to undergo breast reconstruction at the time of initial surgery or the reconstruction could be postponed to a later date. Sentinel lymph node biopsy is an option if your surgeon has expertise in this procedure. Many patients undergo sentinel lymph node biopsy as an alternative to axillary node exploration. The decision to give chemotherapy in stage I breast cancer is usually based on the size of the tumor. Chemotherapy is generally offered to patients with tumor size more than 1 cm. Chemotherapy may sometimes be advised even if the tumor size is less than 1 cm, based on some other unfavorable features. Almost all patients with stage I breast cancer with hormone receptor positive tumors would receive hormonal therapy. Hormonal therapy is usually delayed until chemotherapy and radiation therapy are completed.
Breast cancer resources