There are a variety of treatment options for breast cancer, and the doctor will plan out a course of action depending on the type of cancer suspected from the procedures done.
A mastectomy is what most women immediately think of when they hear the words breast cancer. In a mastectomy, the entire breast is removed.
Lumpectomy In contrast to a mastectomy, in a lumpectomy, only the lump itself is removed. This is possible when the cancer has been contained and not spread to surrounding breast tissue.
According to MayoClinic.com, radiation therapy employs high-powered energy such as X-rays to kill cancer cells.
It's important to understand the distinction between radiation and chemotherapy, as many patients and their family members get the two terms confused. WebMD.com notes that chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells, instead of radiation. The two may be used in conjunction with one another, which is perhaps why the terminology gets confusing for patients.