What Is a Lumpectomy?

Question: What is a lumpectomy?

Answer: A lumpectomy is really a generic term, and it means removal of the lump. Nowadays, the state-of-the-art is finding tumors before they're lumps. We use a variety of imaging tools, for example, mammography is the best, to find early lesions. Those lesions aren't lumps because you can't feel them with your hands, yet when we remove them, we often use the term 'lumpectomy.' I don't think the term 'lumpectomy' is a good one. I think it's better to use the term 'excision of the primary tumor.' And that means that you could excise a lump, or you could excise a lesion that you can't feel, which is essentially not a lump.

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