Surgical Treatment Options

Image of Breast
At The Breast Center -- Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, we understand that the thought of undergoing surgical treatment to remove breast cancer can be overwhelming. An integral part of our approach is to provide you with the support you need, in part, through detailed answers and by thoroughly explaining your treatment options and what you can expect before, during and after the surgery.

We are already starting to look at breast cancer as a chronic disease that we can control with treatment and careful follow-up. According to the American Cancer Society, the survival rate for stage 1 breast cancer is a phenomenal 98.3 percent. Patients are doing better in all stages of breast cancer because of advances in treatment and because breast cancer is being diagnosed earlier. 


There are a number of surgical procedures available today for the treatment of breast cancer. You will likely have a choice and will need to make your own decision, in consultation with your specific surgeon, about the best option for you. We offer you a choice because the research on the treatment of breast cancer has clearly shown that the cure and survival rates are the same regardless of what you choose. The choices can be divided into breast conserving options (i.e. lumpectomy or partial mastectomy) or breast removing options (mastectomy). A procedure to evaluate your armpit (axillary) lymph nodes will likely occur at the same time as your breast surgery. This is done to help determine the likelihood that cells from your breast cancer have left the breast and spread (metastasized) to another more dangerous location. This information will be used to help decide about your need for chemotherapy or hormone blocking drugs after surgery.

Our nationally-renowned surgeons from the Yale School of Medicine Department of Surgery, are highly experienced to treat even the most complex cases of breast cancer. We offer advanced surgical technologies, minimally invasive techniques, and individualized, compassionate care.