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Ask a Doc: What are the treatment choices for early stage breast cancer?

AAD GrayOur answer comes from Dr. Brad Gray of HMC General Surgeons.

Question: What are the treatment choices for early stage breast cancer?

Answer: The treatment options for early stage breast cancer include usually surgery as a first step. There are two basic surgical options, which are lumpectomy (breast conserving surgery) or mastectomy (breast removal surgery). Breast conserving surgery needs to be combined with radiation therapy after the surgery is complete. The choice for surgery is dependant upon several different factors and a lumpectomy is not always an option, but typically for early stage breast cancer it is. The things that would prohibit breast conserving surgery would be the size of the tumor compared to the overall volume of the breast.

To see video of Dr. Brad Gray and other clinical professionals answering frequently asked questions around breast cancer, visit

For more information or to speak with the HMC breast cancer patient navigator, contact HMC’s Oncology Department at 413-534-2543.

Ask a Doc’ is a weekly post by Holyoke Medical Center. To ask a question, please feel free to submit to and we will do our best to answer it.

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