Early Detection of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment

This is FREE sample
This text is free, available online and used for guidance and inspiration. Need a 100% unique paper? Order a custom essay.
  • Any subject
  • Within the deadline
  • Without paying in advance
Get custom essay

On average, every nineteen seconds a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer and one woman will die of breast cancer every thirteen minutes. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among woman. One in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in her life. It’s estimated that over 252,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,500 will die from the disease. Although breast cancer occurs mostly in woman, men can also get this disease. It’s estimated that roughly 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and roughly 460 will die each year. These numbers are fairly high, but with early detection, followed by treatment, most patients are able to live normal lives and the 3.3 million breast cancer survivors in the United States are proof of that.

Breast cancer is defined as a malignant tumor located in the mammary tissue, more commonly known as the breast tissue. There are trillions of cells in the human body and all cells have a regulated cycle that controls things like growth, maturity, division, and death. The rate at which cells grow, mature, divide, and die are apart of the cells DNA, which is mapped out in the cells nucleus. A normal cell becomes a cancerous cell when the cells DNA is damaged and instead of the cell repairing the damaged DNA or dying, it produces an abnormal cell.

Cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth and division of cells. These extra cells create a lump or mass, which is referred to as a tumor. Tumors are either benign or malignant. Benign tumor cells are close to normal in appearance, they grow slowly, and they don’t invade nearby tissue or metastasize to other parts of your body. Benign tumors aren’t so worrisome because they are not dangerous to your health. Malignant tumors, on the other hand, are cancerous and are a cause for concern. Malignant tumors left unchecked can eventually metastasize to other parts of the body, wrecking havoc on healthy parts of your body.

The exact cause of breast cancer is unknown, but extensive research has been done to uncover some risk factors associated with the onset of the disease. Although some of these risk factors are uncontrollable, most are avoidable, which makes it possible to minimize your chances of developing breast cancer. It’s true that risk factors do influence the development of the disease, but they’re not the direct cause of the disease. Several of the uncontrollable risk factors include age, genetic history, previous breast cancer diagnosis, race, and menstrual cycles.

As woman get older, their chances of breast cancer increase. The majority of reported breast cancer cases are from woman over the age of 50. A person’s genetic history also may play a role in the onset of breast cancer. Having a close relative on either side of your family who has had breast cancer will generally increase your chances of developing breast cancer. Certain gene mutations, specifically with the BRCA1 and BRAC2 genes will also propose a higher risk of developing breast cancer. A woman who has had breast cancer previously, also proposes a higher risk of the cancer coming back, than a woman who has never had the disease. Race is also an uncontrollable risk factor.

It’s found that Caucasian and African American women have a higher chance of developing breast cancer than Hispanic or Asian women. Caucasian women have the highest risk of developing breast cancer, whereas, African American women statistically are the most likely to die due to the disease. Your menstrual cycle also contributes to your chances of breast cancer developing. Women who began menstruation cycles early, before age 12, or who begin menopause after the age of 50 have a higher risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime opposed to someone who began menstruating after the age of 12 and began menopause before the age of 50. This is due to prolonged levels of reproductive hormones in the body, like estrogen.

Avoidable risk factors include the use of birth control pills, not having children, hormone replacement therapy, obesity and poor diet, and failing to exercise. Studies have shown that women who chose to use birth control, specifically oral contraceptives, women who have late pregnancies, usually after the age of 30, or chose to never have children, and women who use hormone replacement therapy after menopause have a higher chance of developing breast cancer due to the prolonged exposure to reproductive hormones. Obesity, poor diet, and failing to exercise are also an avoidable risk factor for developing breast cancer. This is because the majority of the hormones are produced in the fat cells, therefore more fat cells, more reproductive hormones throughout the body. Often people with several of the mentioned risk factors never develop breast cancer, while someone with no risk factors does develop breast cancer.

There are ways to help prevent your chances of developing cancer including, breast feeding, surgery, drugs, and lifestyle choices. The longer a women breast feeds have shown a decreased risk of developing breast cancer, possibly because pregnancy followed by breast feeding reduces the amount of the reproductive hormone, estrogen. Surgery is another option to consider if you have a high risk of developing breast cancer. Women who have the BRAC1 and BRAC2 gene mutation may consider a prophylactic mastectomy, which is the removal of one or both breasts.

Women can also consider a salpingo-oophorectom, which is the removal or the ovaries and fallopian tubes, which stops the production of reproductive hormones like estrogen. Certain drugs like tamoxifen (Soltamox) and raloxifene (Evista) can be used to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. These drugs work by blocking estrogen receptors in some tissues and not others. As previously stated in avoidable risk factors, doing things like eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly also reduces the chances of developing breast cancer.

Breast cancer occurs in stages. Staging is determined by the size of the tumor and whether its metastasize. Staging is ranged from zero to four. Stage zero means the cells are isolated within a duct and have not metastasized. Stage 1 means the tumor is 2cm across and it had not begun to metastasized. Stage two means the tumor is 2cm across and it has started to metastasized. Stage three means the tumor has grown to 5cm across and has metastasized to some lymph nodes. Stage four means the cancer has spread to distant organs through the lymph nodes.

During the early stages of breast cancer, someone may not notice any signs or symptoms. When the cancer has reached the middle stages the signs and symptoms could include a lump in the breast or under the arm, a dimple or thickening in the breast, change in the size or shape of the breast, nipple discharge, specifically if it’s bloody or only occurs in one breast, sore nipples, an inverted nipple, skin irritation or changes, red or swollen breasts, or breast pain. Often these symptoms could indicate something else, or lumps that are benign, but they should all be checked out by a doctor. Early detection to breast cancer increases the rate of recovery.

There are several ways to screen for breast cancer. Woman can give themselves breast self-examinations, there are clinical breast examinations, mammography, MRI’s, and ultrasounds. Doctors urge women to perform breast self-exams monthly to become familiar with the way their breasts feel in order to have a baseline incase they ever detect any abnormalities. Clinical breast exams are when a doctor checks your breasts for any lumps, abnormalities or changes in size or shape.

Mammograms are another useful tool used for screening for breast cancer. A Mammogram as an x-ray image of the breast tissues, which is used to detect any lumps located within the breast tissue. MRI’s are available for women who have breast augmentation, which would prevent effective mammography images. Ultrasound imaging is another test that’s used to determine if a mass if solid or fluid. If the mass is fluid than its likely to be a cyst, which isn’t cancerous, rather than a solid cancerous tumor.

In order to find out if a mass that was found during screening is cancerous or not, a biopsy must be done. A biopsy is a medical test that removes tissue, which is then examined under a microscope to determine if it’s cancerous or not. There are several different types of biopsy, one being the fine needle aspiration biopsy. The fine needle aspiration biopsy is a very thin needle that is used to aspirate a small amount of the suspicious tissue.

A core needle biopsy is a larger needle used to aspirate a larger amount of the suspicious tissue. A surgical biopsy is used to remove all or part of the suspicious tissue for testing. A lymph node biopsy is used to check the surrounding lymph nodes for cancerous cells to see if the cells have metastasized. All of these tissue samples are then put under a microscope for a pathologist to examine and determine if they’re cancerous or not.

There are several ways to treat breast cancer, but the goal of every treatment is to eliminate all cancerous cells and keep as much healthy breast tissue as possible. The type of treatment is dependent on the type of breast cancer and how far it’s metastasized. More than one type of treatment is also common. The treatment options are surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy and radiation therapy.

Surgery is done to cut out the cancerous tissue and is performed by a surgeon. A lumpectomy is a surgery used to remove the breast tumor, while keeping as much healthy tissue as possible and is also used in conjunction with radiation and chemotherapy. A partial mastectomy is a surgery used to remove the breast tumor and some surrounding tissue, which is also used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiation. A modified radical mastectomy is a surgery used to remove the entire breast mass and lymph nodes. After a woman has this surgery, it’s most commonly followed by a reconstructive surgery. A radical mastectomy is a surgery used to remove the entire breast mass, lymph nodes, and the pectoral muscles under the breasts.

Chemotherapy is done using a special type of medication that’s used to shrink or kill the cancerous cells. Hormonal therapy is used to block cancerous cells from getting the hormones they need to continue growing. Biological therapy is used to work alongside your body’s immune system to help healthy cells fight the cancerous ones. Radiation therapy is used to kill cancerous cells by using high-energy rays, which are targeted at the tumor, and are performed by radiation oncologists. Radiation therapy is also used in conjunction with chemotherapy.

Remission can be partial or complete and is defined as all signs and symptoms of the cancer disappearing. Doctors have stated that if you remain in remission for five years or more, you’re said to be cured. Cancerous cells can remain in the body for years after treatment, so it’s best to get checked every so often for returning tumors. Stage four, metastatic breast cancer has no cure. Although, you can have treatments for stage four breast cancer, it’s primarily focused on the quality and length of one’s life. Breast cancer is a fatal disease and doesn’t go away on it’s own.

No one thinks it’ll happen to them, but one in eight women will develop this terrible disease at some point in their life. Since doctors don’t have a clear cause or fool proof ways of preventing the disease, early detection, followed by treatment, is the easiest way to prevent fatality. Breast self-examinations are so important and should be done monthly for early detection. Breast cancer is unable to stop itself and more people should be involved in finding a cure for the horrible disease.

Cite this paper

Early Detection of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment. (2021, Mar 18). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/early-detection-of-breast-cancer-and-its-treatment/

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Peter is on the line!

Don't settle for a cookie-cutter essay. Receive a tailored piece that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Check it out