Surgery may be done to:
Obtain tissue from a lump or a problem area seen on a mammogram to make sure it isn’t cancer (biopsy). The tissue is looked at under a microscope to see if the woman has cancer.
Remove a tumor, such as a fibroadenoma, to make sure it is harmless.
Drain an abscess.

For information on the surgical treatment of breast cancer, use the search feature to look up the topic Breast Cancer in the CancerNet portion of the Knowledgebase.


Open surgical biopsy
Draining a breast abscess


You may want to talk to your doctor about how much tissue will be removed during an open surgical biopsy. You will probably have a scar.

You may or may not want to discuss what can be done if it turns out that you do have cancer. Most women prefer to wait until they have the results from the biopsy before they ask their doctor about their choices.