Question: What are the advantages/disadvantages of mastectomy and breast conservation surgery and which surgery improves my chance of survival?
Answer: Survival is exactly the same in long-term follow-up in women who have had lumpectomy as it is for women who've had mastectomy. The advantage of the lumpectomy is the woman gets to keep her breast. It's a more natural, cosmetic look; however, it does require the use of radiation, which often will last about six weeks.
The mastectomy gives the same survival and for many women does not require radiation afterward; however, the woman has to deal with the loss of her breast and has to either wear a prosthesis or perhaps go through a reconstruction, which would not be required for a lumpectomy.