A lumpectomy, also called a partial mastectomy, is a surgical treatment for early-stage breast cancer. In a lumpectomy, the surgeon removes the tumor along with some of the surrounding tissue, preserving as much healthy tissue as possible.

A lumpectomy may also be performed to remove benign (noncancerous) or precancerous growths in a breast.

If your tumor can't be felt through the skin, you may undergo a localization procedure before your lumpectomy. In the localization procedure, a radiologist places either a thin wire or a tiny magnetic marker called a Magseed in the area of concern. The marker will help your breast surgeon find the tumor and will be removed during your lumpectomy.

Your breast surgeon may also remove some lymph nodes in the armpit area to determine whether the cancer has spread. This will be discussed with you before surgery.

After lumpectomy, most patients have radiation therapy to eliminate any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of recurrence (the cancer coming back).