Definition of Mastectomy, radical

Mastectomy, radical: Removal of all breast tissue, from just under the collarbone to the abdomen, including the chest wall muscles and the axillary lymph nodes in the armpit. In a trial begun in 1971, the efficacy of radical mastectomy was compared with that of total mastectomy. This historic trial spelled the end of radical mastectomy and started the trend toward less extensive surgery, which has culminated in the lumpectomy, leading to a vast improvement in the quality of life for women with breast cancer. Also known as Halstead mastectomy.


Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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