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Breast Cancer - Research Paper Example

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Introduction Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide at present and is the leading cause of death among women (Johnston et al, 2008). Breast cancer is classified into three major groups as follows: 1) operable breast cancer, 2) locally advanced breast cancer and, 3) metastatic breast cancer (Johnston et al, 2008)…
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Breast Cancer
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Download file to see previous pages Locally advanced breast cancer is distinguished by the application of the TNM Staging Process and is considered to be stage III where the tumor has extended to the chest wall and or the axillary nodes but has not metastasize to far organs and body cavities. Last but not the least is metastatic breast cancer or advanced breast cancer, which is distinguished by the presence of malignant or cancerous cells in the various body parts like the bone; or distant organs like the lungs or the liver (Johnston et al, 2008). Signs and Symptoms Breast cancer symptoms are mostly composed of the changes in the physical outlook of the breast marked by lumps/growths, nipple retraction or dimpling, flaky skin on the nipple area, bloody discharges from the nipple and a change in the shape or alignment of the breast. The symptoms stated may be related to other forms of illness, hence undergoing mammogram screening is the best option if breast cancer is suspected because this will show malignant cells of tumors present within the breast especially if they are small and cannot be felt by the touch of the hand even while breast self examination is done (Johnston et al, 2008). Etiology/Pathogenesis The risk of breast cancer increases with age and becomes double every ten years until a woman reaches menopause. The root cause of breast cancer is still currently undetermined, but recent studies show that the development of the disease comes from various factors, and that women who are predispose to the following aspects are more susceptible to breast cancer: 1) had early menarche (menstruation) especially those who had their first menstrual period before age twelve; 2) had their menopause at a later age than the normal; 3) gave birth at an older age (30 years old and above); 4) has a family history of breast cancer; 5) excess alcohol consumption; 6) prolonged exposure of breast tissue to radiation; 7) recent utilization of oral contraceptives; 8) had postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy; 9) obesity; and 10) mutation of the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 (Johnston et al, 2008). Diagnostic Tests After being diagnosed of breast cancer and before surgery or any other treatment is considered for the patient, an assessment which includes medical history review, mammography and histology are done extensively. The patient assessment profile is followed by biopsy and the staging process, to determine the extent or magnitude of the cancer involved. Subsequent to the results of the tests that were done; the patients will now be informed of the different treatment alternatives, making them aware of the advantage and disadvantages of each treatment poses and the risks involved in all the procedures that will be undertaken (Chan et al, 2010). Treatments The recommended medical treatment for breast cancer involves the application and combination of: surgery (mastectomy), chemotherapy plus tamoxifen. radiotherapy plus tamoxifen, neo-adjuvant therapy and systemic adjuvant chemotherapy. Prior to any form of medical treatment, doctors normally provide their patients with options on how to cure the disease. This means giving the patient appropriate information on the actual procedures involved to remove the cancer cells from the breast and other parts of the body where it metastasized. This process permits the patient to choose for herself or himself about the kind of medical treatm ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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