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Cancer - Care for Breast Cancer Patients - Essay Example

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World over, incidence of Cancer is increasing day by day. Various studies and research show that Breast Cancer is the second most commons type of Cancer in Women, followed by Cancer of the Cervix, while the first place goes to Lung Cancer.Risk Factors: …
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Cancer - Care for Breast Cancer Patients
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Cancer - Care for Breast Cancer Patients World over, incidence of Cancer is increasing day by day. Various studies and research show that Breast Cancer is the second most commons type of Cancer in Women, followed by Cancer of the Cervix, while the first place goes to Lung Cancer.
Risk Factors: The occurrence of Cancer in older women from the age of sixty and above is more frequent. Research done by Dell, show that being female and increasing age, adds to the risk of getting cancer. The number of women in various age groups of "age 30 to 35, the incidence of breast cancer is 27.9 cases per 100,000 women; by age 80, the number rises to 412 cases per 100,000 women." (2005, Dell, Deena Damsky RN).
It is also found that girls, who do not attain puberty or menarche until the age of sixteen, have 10% - 30% lesser risk of getting breast cancer. Inherited factors causing cancer, is found to be around just 1% of all cancer cases. Avoidable risks are alcoholism, lack of regular exercise and lack of periodical self - examination. As for the risk factors according to ethnicity, White, Hawaiian, and African-American women have the highest rates, while Korean, American Indian, and Vietnamese women have the lowest rates.
Spreading Awareness: In order to help reduce the number of Cancer Cases, it is
important that, the women within the risk group be aware of the risk factors. With this in mind the American Cancer Society has taken a number of steps to improve its guidelines and spread the message in the risk group. It has recommended the following steps:
Regular/periodical clinical tests be conducted
Precise instructions for self breast-examinations
Advice to report immediately changes in breast size or nipple discharge
Immediate notification of lumps in breast, dimpling or colour changes
Clinical Mammography for even asymptomatic women starting at 40 years
Treatment and Cure: Early diagnosis and treatment are imperative for complete
cure from cancer. Patients are classified according to the lump sizes, placement and spread, and the number of circulating tumor cells in patients with metastatic breast cancer; classifications range from Stage I - Stage IV depending on the severity and spread of the disease. While ongoing research attempts to identify more specific tests,
that will predict accurately, the individual patient's response to a particular Cancer therapy, "Oncologists mostly make their decisions based on averages". (2005, Dell, Deena Damsky RN). Treatment may be considered in the lines of a) local - surgery and radiation and b) systemic - hormone therapy and chemotherapy. Other Surgical options are : Lumpectomy, Quadrantectomy, Segmental Mastectomy, Radical Mastectomy etc.
The Support and Help possibilities of a Nurse : At the detection and prevention
stages, valuable help can be accorded to the patients through proper instructions to patients on self examination procedures and the importance of adherence to a strict clinical test routine either yearly or bi-yearly, as required in the individual's case. In the post-radiation period, the patients can be reassured that the itching, burning sensation, peeling decolourisation etc., are temporary. Instructions regarding self-care of the breast, by patients can be implemented. The patients can be taught how to reduce the chance of adverse effects specific to their individual therapy and how to alleviate them if they do occur. In patients who have undergone Radical Mastectomy, Dell's research advices that the patients be taught range-of-motion exercises. And if the patient has had axillary node dissection as well, instruct her on recognizing the signs and symptoms of and preventive strategies for lymphedema. (2005, Dell, Deena Damsky RN). While all this may go a long way in helping improve the physical condition of the patient, the mental agony, trauma and pain suffered
by the patient can be partially alleviated by re-assurances of the patient's beauty being retained even after Mastectomy, importance of having a positive mental attitude and having a regular exercise regimen.
Incorporation of Positive and Humanistic Practises: Studies by Jennings-Sanders A, report that, more than half of the cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women over 64 years of age, have poorer physical function, social support, and access to transportation than younger women. It also reports that the patients with who were Black and women with lower incomes or education required the most nursing contacts, while women over 75 years of age and lived alone required significantly more contacts involving psychosocial assessment, teaching, and emotional support than younger women or those who lived with a partner.
(2005; Jennings-Sanders A). In the light of these findings, one can improve one's professional efficiency by bearing all the above details in mind and inculcating a genuine
empathy with the plight of patients, especially the afore mentioned needy group and reaching out to them in their recuperation and re-habilitation.
List of References.
DeenaDamskyDell RN, AOCN, BC, MSN, Clinical Nurse Specialist,
Battling breast cancer: Help patients make headway in the fight of their lives,
September/October 2005 Volume 3Number 5 Pages4-20,
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!
Jennings-Sanders A, Freeman JL, Goodwin JS. How do nurse case managers care for older women with breast cancer Oncol Nurs Forum. 2005;32(3):625-632. July 25, 2005: Older Breast Cancer Patients Require Different Levels of Case Management Support, National Institute of Nursing Research.
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