For more information, please call 304.399.6556

Breast cancer is a malignant cancer tumor that starts in the cells of the breast. According to the Americal Cancer Society, breast cancer affects one in eight women every year. It is one of the most common cancers in the United States and although it is typically associated with women, men can also acquire the disease.

Early-stage breast cancers, those that have not spread to other parts of the body, can often be removed using two forms or surgery - breast conserving surgery, commonly called a lumpectomy, which targets the cancer and some surrounding tissue; and mastectomy, when the entire breast is removed. Both procedures render prominent scarring and visible reminders of cancer.

The Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center at Cabell Huntington Hospital is now offering a procedure that removes cancerous tissue through an incision that minimizes visible scarring.

"Hidden Scarâ„¢Breast Cancer Surgery is an innovative surgical procedure that allows removal of cancer in the breast and hides scars without compromising clinical results," said Mary Legenza, MD, board certified breast cancer surgeon at the ECCC and the first certified Hidden Scar Breast Surgeon in the state of West Virginia.

During a Hidden Scar mastectomy, the physician uses the natural crease beneath the breast to make an incision and preserve the breast skin and nipple-areolar. Reconstructive surgery is used to fill in the void and the woman's natural skin is replaced.

According to Legenza, the procedure preserves a natural-looking breast by sparing the nipple, areola and surrounding tissue.

"Using Hidden Scar Breast Surgery eases the emotional impact that takes place after surgery. There is little to no visible reminder of the surgery," she said. "It helps women maintain confidence in their appearance as they're not as easily reminded of the disease that once invaded their bodies."

Hidden Scar breast conserving surgery or lumpectomy uses an incision hidden in one of three places:

  • the natural crease beneath the breast
  • along the areola border
  • the armpit

The surgeon then uses oncoplastic techniques to fill the void created where the tumor was removed, leaving the patient with a more natural shape and contour of the breast.

"In both instances, the goal is to remove the cancerous cells and provide a woman with self-confidence when she looks in the mirror," Legenza said.

Candidates for Hidden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery depend on the tumor size and location and breast shape and size and also may be appropriate for a wide range of breast cancer patients undergoing nipple sparing mastectomy or lumpectomy (breast conserving surgery) procedures.

To learn more about Hidden Scar Breast Surgery, please call the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center at 304.399.6556.