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Is surgery essential for breast cancer?

Q: I have been diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer in the right breast. The first dose of chemotherapy has been given. The treatment regimen is 4 doses of chemo followed by mastectomy and 2 doses of chemo. The size of the tumour as revealed in CT scan was 8 x 3 x 3 cms approximately and some lymph nodes were involved. I want to know if the size of the malignant tumour gets reduced due to chemotherapy will it still be essential to undergo mastectomy? We wish mastectomy does not take place and lumpectomy is performed instead.

A:Surgery is considered essential to cure breast cancer. Timing of surgery depends on how much reduction occurs after two or three cycles of chemo. The size should shrink before surgery is performed.

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