Surgery is the mainstay of therapy for breast cancer. The choice of which type of surgery is based on a number of factors, including the size and location of the tumor, the type of tumor and the person's overall health and personal wishes. Breast-sparing surgery is often possible.
The cancer is staged, using the information from surgery and from other tests. Staging is a classification that reflects the extent and spread of a tumor and has an impact on treatment decisions and also the prognosis for recovery.
* Staging in breast cancer is based on the size of the tumor, which parts of the breast are involved, how many and which lymph nodes are affected, and whether the cancer has metastasized to another part of the body.
* Cancers may be referred to as invasive if they have spread to other tissues. Those that do not spread to other tissues are called noninvasive. Carcinoma in situ is a noninvasive cancer.