Breast Cancer Why Women Should Be Aware

.. have a smaller survival rate from the disease (27). In the 1890s a procedure had been devised to remove the tumor and the surrounding tissue, including the lymph nodes and chest-wall muscles, now known as a radical mastectomy (Glazer 565). The mastectomy usually requires removal of the breast, and is usually used when the disease has spread to the chest muscles (Treatment 2). This procedure is not common today, because the breast cancer disease can spread to different parts of the body before being detected, making this procedure not very practical. Today doctors use a modified radical mastectomy, where they take the breast, some of the lymph nodes in the armpit, and the lining over the chest muscles (2). Chemotherapy is another form of treatment used for breast cancer.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill the cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be taken orally or injected by a needle in a vein or muscle. Chemotherapy is a treatment that works not only in the breast, but throughout the whole body as well (Treatment 2). Chemotherapy is also used to shrink tumors and is followed by surgery or radiation therapy (5). Radiation has changed the surgical approach to breast cancer. Radiation is the only treatment for breast cancer that is encouraging to women who have early stages of breast cancer.

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The procedure allows women to keep their breast. The breast is then treated with radiation until the tumors are gone (Mantel762). This option is very favorable to women because they do not have to have surgery or have their breast removed, like in the mastectomy. There is evidence that oestrogen, a hormone, takes part in the progression of breast cancer. Breast cancer is more prominent in postmenopausal women when levels of oestrogen are low.

Oestrogen levels in breast tissues are usually high in postmenopausal women. The oestrogen agonist tamoxifen has caused more than 75 percent of its test to shrink in both postmenopausal and pre-menopausal women. The drug is effective in patients whose tumors have developed tamoxifen resistance and produces a high remission rate with very few side effects (Dixon 1). Women need to examine themselves regularly to ensure that tumors are not present in their breast. The best time for a woman to examine herself is three days after her period, or on the first day of the month, if she no longer has periods.

She should use the fingers applying light, medium, and deep pressure to check breasts for lumps. She should move her fingers in a circular pattern or in rows so that the entire breast is examined. She should check the armpit to collar bone and below breast to make sure that no tumors are forming in the area around the breast or lymph nodes (All 3). Continuing the prevention process includes receiving mammograms. It is proven that 30 percent fewer deaths occur from breast cancer in women who received regular mammograms in there 50s than that of women who did not.

Although mammography machines remain an imperfect tool for finding cancer, it detects a tumor that has often been growing for five years, spreading cancer throughout the body. Once the tumor is found something can be done about the cancer (Glazer 556). The treatments that do exist for breast cancer often have horrible side effects, but remission rate for the cancer is great (557). The National Cancer Advisory Board recommended that women ages 40-49 to get mammograms every one to two years if they are at average risk for breast cancer, meaning that there is no past history of breast cancer in their family, or that they have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The board also recommended that women with above average risk for breast cancer should seek expert medical advice about beginning mammography before the age of 40 (Glazer 557).

The board looked at studies and it showed that there was a benefit for screening women in there 40s, early detection. Detecting the disease earlier is more easily treatable with a better outcome (558). Breast cancer is a disease that is feared by every woman. If we wanted to find the woman with the highest risk for breast cancer, it would be as follows: A 51 year old, fat, hypothyroid Caucasian nun living in a cold climate in the Western Hemisphere, with a wet type of cerumen and a prolonged menopausal history, whose mother and sister had pre-menopausal bilateral breast cancer, who was nursed by a mother who had a B viral particles in her milk, who has had endmetrial cancer and a cancer in one breast, whose random biopsy of the other breast showed a pre-cancerous mastophaty, who has a low estiol fraction, who is immuno-deficient, who received heavy radiation exposure during treatment for tuberculosis by repeated fluoroscopes, and who has a high dietary fat intake. (Davies 23) Although it is impossible to find that type of person, it is not impossible for your wife, daughter, mother, sister, or co-worker to be diagnosed with the disease. The disease is deadly and no cure has been found yet. If women are aware of how to prevent their chance in getting breast cancer, they can prolong their life and their chance in survival if they are diagnosed with the disease.

Prevention is the key to the disease. Researchers are looking for a cure, but like the AIDS virus we have not yet found that Magic Bullet to stop the further growth of the cancer cells. Bibliography Works Cited —. All About Breast Cancer. Internet. 2 May 1998. tml Baghurst, Peter, Sally Record and Julie Syrette.

Diet and Breast Cancer. Newsletter of the NHMRC, Spring 1997. Internet. 2 May 1998. Davies, Kevin, and Michael White. Breakthrough: The Race to Find the Breast Cancer Gene.

New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1995. DeFazio, Anna. New Evidence on the Function of BRCA1 and BRCA2. Newsletter of the NHMRC, Summer 1997-98. Internet. 2 May 1998. Dixon, Michael.

Hormone Treatments for Breast Cancer. Newsletter of the NHMRC, Autumn 1997. Internet. 2 May 1998. Glazer, Sarah. Breast Cancer; The Issues. CQ Researcher, 1997: 555-572 Mantel, Barbara.

Advances in Cancer Research. CQ Researcher, 1995: 755-768. —. Treatment Options. Internet. 2 May 1998. html Weisberg, Edith.

The Risk of Breast Cancer Following an Abortion. Newsletter of the NHMRC, Spring 1997. Internet. 2 May 1998. Science Essays.


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