Breast Cancer Essay

1682 words - 7 pages

Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a disease that is becoming more and more popular in this day of age. One in every eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer (Breast Cancer, 2010). Women and men who suffer from breast cancer not only are fighting cancer but are also fighting the psychological aspects of the disease.
Breast Cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer among women in the United States right behind skin cancer. Women are now surviving breast cancer a lot more frequently because of the treatments out there to help. In 2008, the number of breast cancer survivors was 2.5 million (Breast Cancer, 2010). The numbers of survivors is an increasing state because the research and ...view middle of the document...

One way recommended is yearly exams with a gynecologist. The physician will do a physical exam and palpate the breasts to feel for any lumps. The physician may order a mammogram or ultra sound. Women are recommended to have yearly mammograms after the age 40, but earlier if breast cancer runs in the family (National Cancer Institute).
A mammogram detects lumps in the breast and is an x-ray picture of tissues inside a person’s breast. It may detect a lump before it is even felt by someone. A ultrasound also is a test that can show details of the breast lump and its sound waves creates pictures showing if the lump is solid, filled with fluid or a little of both. When it shows a sign of a more solid lump it is greater risk of cancer (National Cancer Institute). Once a breast lump is detected and shows signs of being cancerous the lump is then removed or biopsied.
Biopsy is a tissue removal which is looking for cancerous cells. There are several different types of biopsies, but is the true way to tell if these cells in the breast are cancerous. These different types of biopsies are fine-needle aspiration, core biopsy, skin biopsy or surgical biopsy. After the tissue is removed then they can send it to the lab to determine if a person has cancer or not (National Cancer Institute). The lump will then be considered either benign or malignant. Benign is good meaning no cancer present, but malignant means that there is cancer present in the tumor. After determining that a person has breast cancer it must then be staged.
Staging helps determine how bad the disease is and the extent of treatment that is going to be needed. Staging depends on certain factors such as Tumor (T), node (N), and metastasis (M). They are graded by points to see the severity. Each is given three points and they can total to nine points. When a person has a total of three to five they have well-differentiated cancer which is grade one. When the score totals six to seven the cancer is moderately differentiated and is grade two. Total of eight to nine means it is poorly differentiated and is grade three. There is also a stage four cancer which is considered cancer that has metastasized to other parts of the body. Once staged, then treatment options are considered (Mahon, 2007).
Treatment varies from person to person. Different options are available and one treatment may work for one individual but not the other. Surgery is the first option offered to most people who have breast cancer. This consists of removing the lump and sometimes the whole breast, and dissection of the lymph nodes (Breast Cancer, 2010). Once surgery is performed the patient may get other options whether to receive chemotherapy, radiation therapy or hormonal therapy.
Radiation is the first option for treatment of breast cancer patients. Radiation is a process to remove any disease left in the breast after surgery. This reduces the reoccurrence of cancer. This process is...

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