This procedure requires removal of the entire breast, nipple, areola, and axillary lymph nodes but often leaves the chest wall intact. They send the nodes to the laboratory to check for cancer cells. It does not lower the chance of the cancer coming back in other parts of the body. Breast cancer masectomy cancer cells begin to spread from the breast, the first place they are usually found is in the lymph nodes in the armpit. If you need, or choose to have a mastectomy, you may also consider having breast reconstruction surgery.
If axillary lymph nodes are also removed, other side effects such as lymphedema may occur. It involves removing the breast cancer as well as a small amount of surrounding healthy tissue. This is called a radical mastectomy.
This is known as the sentinel node. Find out about breast reconstruction. Implant reconstruction, in which silicone or saline implants are inserted under the chest muscle to create a breast mound.