radical mastectomy

(RA-dih-kul ma-STEK-toh-mee)
Surgery to remove the whole breast, all of the lymph nodes under the arm, and the chest wall muscles under the breast. For many years, radical mastectomy was the type of breast cancer surgery used most often, but it is rarely used now. It may be used only when breast cancer has spread to the chest wall muscles. Also called Halsted radical mastectomy.