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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:45 pm
A mastectomy (mas-tec-toe-me) is a surgical procedure that removes some or all of a breast in an effort to treat breast cancer. There are three types of mastectomies: standard, modified radical, and radical. When you have a standard mastectomy, no lymph nodes are removed from under your arms, but some or all of the breast tissue is taken out. A modified radical mastectomy removes the entire breast and the lymph nodes. Finally, a radical mastectomy removes the breast, the lymph nodes, and the muscles beneath the breast. This isn't performed as often as it once was, but for extreme cases it's still sometimes necessary. Following any of these procedures there may be a lack of mobility in the arm and shoulder. Numbness is also a common side effect. For more information about mastectomies, contact a cancer specialist in your area.

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