Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In medicine, mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely. Mastectomy is usually done to combat breast cancer; in some cases, women believed to be at high risk of breast cancer have the operation prophylactically, that is, to prevent cancer rather than treat it. In contrast, in a lumpectomy, a lump of tissue rather than the whole breast is removed. Lumpectomies have become the more common treatment and are now the most common.
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