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International Journal of Breast Cancer
Volume 2012, Article ID 516417, 7 pages
Review Article

Current Operative Management of Breast Cancer: An Age of Smaller Resections and Bigger Cures

Department of Surgery, Mitchell Cancer Institute, University of South Alabama, 1660 Springhill Avenue Mobile, AL 36604, USA

Received 13 August 2011; Revised 5 November 2011; Accepted 9 November 2011

Academic Editor: Rajeev S. Samant

Copyright © 2012 Jack W. Rostas and Donna Lynn Dyess. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Surgical resection was the first effective treatment for breast cancer and remains the most important treatment modality for curative intent. Refinements in operative techniques along with the use of adjuvant radiotherapy and advanced chemotherapeutic agents have facilitated increasingly focused breast cancer operations. Surgical management of breast cancer has shifted from extensive and highly morbid procedures, to the modern concept obtaining the best possible cosmetic result in tandem with the appropriate oncological resection. An ever-growing comprehension of breast cancer biology has led to substantial advances in molecular diagnosis and targeted therapies. An emerging frontier involves the breast cancer microenvironment, as a thorough understanding, while currently lacking, represents a critical opportunity for diagnosis and treatment. Collectively, these improvements will continue to push all therapeutic interventions, including operative, toward the goal of becoming more focused, targeted, and less morbid.