Breast-conserving surgery, such as lumpectomy, removes the cancer and just enough tissue to get all the cancer. The goal is to keep the breast looking as normal as possible after the surgery while reducing the chances of the cancer coming back.
The size and location of tumors differs from one person to another, so the amount of tissue removed during surgery also differs.
Some of the lymph nodes under the arm may also be removed during breast-conserving surgery. This is done with a separate incision. If cancer is found in those lymph nodes, more lymph nodes may be removed.
Most people who have breast-conserving surgery also have radiation therapy. You may also have chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or both.