Breast Cancer What are My Options
DIAGNOSTICS (METHODS AND APPROACHES)
Diagnostics is an expression that is derived from the word diagnosis. During the diagnosis process, it is advisable for a patient to seek multidisciplinary management so as to get accurate results and analysis. In a lay man’s language, multidisciplinary management is a form of patient care that entails the use of several disciplines and visiting different health professionals such as nurses, doctors, occupational therapists and psychologists (Radice & Redaelli, 2003). In such a case, health professionals work in a parallel manner so as to get consistent results and analysis. The most prevalent form of diagnosis or detecting breast cancer during the early stages is screening.
In a lay man’s language, breast cancer screening is a procedure that involves a patient undergoing breast medical check - ups before any symptoms or signs of the disorder. Essentially women who undergo screening are unlikely to suffer or die from breast cancer as compared to other women who do not take screening tests seriously. The effectiveness of the screening process widely depends on how frequent a woman visits a clinic or a hospital. A majority of medical experts suggest that the screening ought to be done at least every 3 – 1 years starting as early as age 20. By the age of 40 years, screening should be done at least once a year (Chang & Weiner & Hartman & Horvath & Jeste & Mischel & Kado, 2018). The only disadvantage associated with this form of diagnosis is false results which may force one to undergo more screening. This might turn out to be expensive and the patient may also subject themselves to more health risks due to radiation.
Unlike screening, breast cancer staging is a rather long process that requires a lot of medical operations to assert whether or not one is a victim of the disorder. To begin with, one must undergo a physical exam. During the examination, the health expert asks several medical questions and reviews analysis and results done by different physicians or procedures. Reviewing results is manly done for patients who have been treated from the disorder. After the physical examination and review of results, a patient is subjected to either blood tests or breast – imaging tests (Chlebowski & Aiello & McTiernan, 2002). The reason as to why blood tests are important is that it helps medical practitioners to identify the medical condition or status of their patients.
On the other side, breast – imaging tests are relatively important on the grounds that they help in determining the level or stage of cancer. In the event where breast cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body, there is a need for additional image – tests. Thereafter conducting a critical research and analysis, breast cancer has four stages. They include; stage 0, I, II, III and IV. Each stage is characterized with the intensity of cell growths and tumors. For instance, a small tumor can be categorized under stage I. As the tumor grows and the cells continue to sub – divide, there is an upward progression from stage I onto stage II. If left untreated or unattended during the early stages, the disorder can progress from stage I till stage IV. Very few patients in their late stages of the disorder can be able to survive this international pandemic. As mentioned earlier, more than 230,000 women are likely to be infected with breast cancer this year. On the positive side, this disorder can easily be prevented. In America there are more than 3 million breast cancer survivors. Unlike other common forms of disorder that can easily be regulated through certain health practices and operations, breast cancer cannot be prevented easily. Reflective of medical analysis and reports, it has been established that the only way to prevent breast cancer is to avoid risk factors that are associated with the disease. In a lay man’s language, the expression risk factor refers to anything that increases the chances of contracting a disease. To begin, age is the common risk factor. Essentially as one gets older, the chances of contracting the disease seem to multiply. Inherently this is the main reason why women who are above 50 years are advised to go for screening at least once in a year (Chang & Weiner & Hartman & Horvath & Jeste & Mischel & Kado, 2018). Reflective of this scenario, the best way to prevent the growth and development of breast cancer is constantly going for screening since age is a natural process that no one has control of.
Another risk factor that is associated with breast cancer is lack of exercise and being overweight. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important when it comes to preventing breast cancer. According to a recent medical survey and analysis, it was established that overweight women who do not participate in any forms of exercises are prone or susceptible to the disorder as compared to women who engage in exercises and maintain a weight balance in relation to their age and height (Chlebowski & Aiello & McTiernan, 2002). Based on this medical information and report, it can easily be established that breast cancer among women can be prevented by encouraging women to keep track of their weight and engaging in different forms of exercises. Fundamentally exercises are very important on the grounds that they help in breaking down fats and oils and keeping the body physically fit.
Unhealthy foods, drinks and cigarrete smoking are also leading factors in breast cancer. According to medical experts, drinks such as alcohol and beer increase the risks of a woman developing breast cancer due hormonal reactions. Foods that increase the tendency of a woman contracting breast cancer are sugar, artificial sweeteners, dairy products, grilled meat and animal products that contain a lot of fat such as eggs and red meat (Siegel & Miller & Jemal, 2017). On the other side, smoking also leads to breast cancer since it affects normal hormonal functions. Reflective of the information above, it can easily be established that breast cancer among women can be prevented or monitored by avoiding the indicated foods, regulating or quitting smoking.
From a general point of view, breast cancer among women can be prevented by engaging in frequent exercises, taking foods and drinks that do not affect with the bodies hormonal process, quit smoking and cutting on weight. However, it is relatively important for one to comprehend that the ideas discussed above serve to help one reduce the risk of contracting the disease as breast cancer cannot be avoided. In some instances it is very difficult to prevent breast cancer as it is may be caused by risk factors that cannot be prevented such as ethnicity/race and genetics. In regards to several medical researches and experiments conducted recently, it has been established time and again that White women are likely to contract breast cancer as compared to Asian, black and Hispanic women. When it comes to genetics, it is estimated that about 10 -5 % of breast cancer among women is hereditary (Yates & Knappskog & Wedge & Farmery & Martincorena & Gundem, 2017). Practically this means that the disorder is some – how common among women who hail from families that have one or more people who have been diagnosed with it.
In regards to treatment, breast cancer can be attended using several treatment options. They include; radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and lumpectomy also known as mastectomy. Thanks to the treatment options mentioned above, there are more than 3 million women who have survived from breast cancer in America only. Below is detailed discussion on each of the indicated treatment options.
Lumpectomy commonly known as breast segmental resection is a form of treatment that involves the surgical removal of a lump that has formed in the breast (National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 2016). From a general perspective, most people prefer lumpectomy as compared to mastectomy since it is a more conservationist method. Mastectomy is a treatment method that involves the surgical removal of the breast or the area that has been affected by the cancerous cells. Mastectomy is normally applied in the event where cancerous cells have spread and divided to form a huge lump that cannot be easily removed without interfering with physical stature of the breast (National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 2016). As much as lumpectomy is the more common of the two methods, it is important to ascertain the idea that mastectomy is the safest method as no cancerous cells are left behind.
Just as the name suggests, hormone therapy is a treatment therapy that involves the use of hormones to treat cancer. Hormone therapy also known as hormonal therapy or endocrine therapy is a form of treatment that works by inducing hormones into the body of a patient for purposes of stopping or slowing cancer from growing (Chang & Weiner & Hartman & Horvath & Jeste & Mischel & Kado, 2018). Fundamentally hormonal therapy in breast cancer is important on the grounds that it makes the tumor much smaller before radiation therapy and surgery. Hormonal therapy is also important on the grounds that it lowers or minimizes the risk that cancerous cells will ever come back, destroy any cells that have remained in the body. Reflective of this argument, it is clearly obvious that hormonal therapy is vital in that it helps in reducing lump sizes and the risk of the cancer from spreading or ever coming back.
Radio – therapy commonly known as radiation is a form breast cancer treatment that involves the destruction of cancer cells that might have remained in the breasts after the surgery process (National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 2016). As much as people fear radio – therapy, this is the most effective way to ensure that any cell remnants in the breast are cleared off. Fundamentally radio – therapy processes involve the use of a special beam of energy such as x – rays and light rays to destroy the cancer cells. This beams are largely invisible to the human eye yet they are very significant when it comes to destroying the DNA of cancerous cells. As much as radiation affects cancer and normal cells, it is of relative importance to note that the rays affect cancer cells much more.
Based on medical reports and examination, radiation is very important since it helps in reducing the chances of the disorder from re –occurring especially after surgery (National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 2016). As much as a surgeon might be able to remove all cancer cells in the breast of a patient, it is not a guaranteed that the disorder might never come back. A single remnant of the cells might cause a risk in the re – occurrence of the disorder. For purposes of avoiding any remnant cells from growing and developing to form a lump, there is a constant need for a patient to undergo radiation. Finally research has it that patients who undergo radiation are likely to live much longer and remain free from cancer as compared to other patients who fail to undergo the process.
Unlike hormonal therapy which involves the induction of hormones into the body system, chemotherapy is a form of breast cancer treatment whereby the cancer cells are monitored, regulated and destroyed after the patient is subjected to drugs. Chemotherapy popularly known as chemo also works to either treat breast cancer if it is detected in its early stages or ease the symptoms of cancer in the event where breast cancer has been detected at a late stage (National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 2016). When it comes to easing pain, chemo is used to stop tumors from growing as well as ease the pain that comes along with the disorder. It is of relative importance to note that chemotherapy may also be used with other forms of treatment so as to increase the survival odd of a patient. For instance, chemotherapy may be used in conjunction with radiation therapy and radiation. Reflective of this scenario, chemotherapy is used in shrinking the size of the tumor just before the indicated forms of treatment.
Drugs administered during chemotherapy can be introduced to a patient through different means. To begin with, oral treatment comes in form of capsules, pills and liquids that one is supposed to swallow. In regards to the Intravenous (IV) mode of treatment, the chemo goes into the vein while injection entails the administration of shots into the hip, thigh or muscle of the patient. Intraperitoneal chemo goes into peritoneal cavities while intra – arterial chemo goes into an artery that is responsible for causing cancer (National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 2016). Finally topical chemo comes in special cream that is designated for rubbing on the skin. In special cases, chemotherapy may be administered through ports, catheters and pumps. The type of medical treatment to be applied depends on the level of breast cancer or the patient’s suitability. For purpose of knowing whether the chemo is working, there is a need to visit a physician who will conduct physical examinations, medical tests (blood tests and scans).
ADVANTAGES OF MEDICAL TREATMENTS
Undergoing medical treatments is very beneficial when it comes to the health of the person infected with breast cancer. To begin with, the medical treatments offer an increased quality to life and health. Reflective of this example, the indicated treatment options all serve to fight the cancer cells. Lack of undergoing this forms of treatment means that the infected person is likely to suffer in bad health and consequently succumb to the disease. The indicated treatment options are also beneficial on the grounds that they help in reducing the size and growth of the tumor (lumps) in the breast.?
As much as undergoing the indicated treatments is beneficial to the health of a patient. It is also safe to ascertain the idea that these treatments have their own disadvantages. Hence, the treatments are responsible for unknown side – effects that are responsible for numerous body stresses. A majority of breast cancer patients who undergo either of these treatment options mentioned above are perceived to be stressful and in bad mood. Another disadvantage of the indicated treatment options is that they are very expensive. Very few people can be able to afford and keep up with the expenses that come along with these treatments. Most lower class and lower middle class people cannot afford this treatment.
In conclusion, breast cancer is a form of cancer that affects women. Predominantly this form of cancer is characterized with the growth and multiplication of cancerous cells within the breast. In regards to treatment, breast cancer can be cured so long as it is detected early. Examples of treatment options that are available for treating the disorder are lumpectomy, mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy also known as endocrine therapy or hormonal therapy.
As much as breast cancer has different treatment options, it is safe to state that there are advantages and disadvantages that are associated with it. Reflective of the advantages, the treatment options lead to increased life quality and a reduction of the lump and tumor sizes. When it comes to the disadvantages, the treatment options indicated are very expensive and very few people can afford. The treatment options also have side – effects that are not well known. A majority of this side – effects affect the normal functioning of the body leading to body stresses and poor health generally. Breast cancer is a killer disease that should be seriously campaigned against as women all over the world daily due to the disease.