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Breast Cancer Awareness In Females Essay

1721 words - 7 pages

Stages and Di¬¬¬agnosis
Breast cancer, like all other cancers, is staged according to guidelines set by the American Cancer Society (n.d.). In the TMN staging system, there are three parameters set to establish the stages of breast cancer (Office of Women’s Health n.d). One parameter is the T, or tumor; this refers to the size of the tumor and the spreading of the tumor to the skin or chest wall. The T is judged on a scale of one to four (e.g. T1, T2, T3, T4). The second parameter is the N, or lymph nodes; N refers to if the cancer has spread to any lymph nodes, and if so how many. The N is judged one to three (e.g. N1, N2, N3). The third parameter is the M, or metastasis; it refers to if ...view middle of the document...

Stage IIIB has up to nine axillary nodes infected or inflammatory breast cancer where the cancer extends to the skin and causes swelling and redness. The last division of stage III or stage IIIC is categorized as operable or inoperable. It can be any size, has reached up to ten axillary lymph nodes, and can reach the skin or breast wall. The final stage called Stage IV is irreversible, once there, patients cannot reduce back down to lower stages. This stage classifies cancer that is metastatic and has spread throughout the body to places such as the brain, liver, or bones.
The diagnosis, or attempt to identify a disease or illness of breast cancer can be classified in several ways. For the purpose of this research paper, the researcher will classify breast cancer examinations in two ways, conventional and newer techniques. Conventional breast examinations include self-breast examinations, mammograms, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the breast, and biopsies (Breast Cancer Risk Factors n.d). Of these, the most recognized forms of diagnosis are breast self-examinations (palpation of breast and under arm tissue) and mammograms (uses x-ray imaging to examine breast tissue). Self- breast examinations are recommended every month following the end of the menstrual cycle. Also, mammograms should be given every year to women over the age of 40. Newer techniques of breast diagnosis include, but are not limited to, ductograms and ductal lavage exams (Office of Women’s Health n.d.). A ductogram is a procedure in which surgeons inject liquid into the ducts of the breast to test if they are leaking and confirm which ducts need to be removed. The ductogram is done in conjunction with the mammogram so that the leaking ducts will fluoresce better under the x-ray. The ductal lavage exam is used to extract cells from inside of the milk duct in order to assess a risk or severity.
Treatment Options and Medical Advancements in Treatment
After the patient is diagnosed and prospectively placed into the proper stage, treatment options are to be considered. The two most common forms of treatment are chemotherapy (chemo) and radiation (Mandal 2013; American Cancer Society n.d.). Chemotherapy involves injecting medicine directly into the blood vessel or taken by mouth to kill cancerous cells (Office of Womens Health n.d). Chemo can either precede or follow the removal of the tumor. The medicine also attacks any other cells that quickly divide such as the hair follicles and digestive tract cells, causing hair loss and nausea. Radiation treats with quick, high energy waves to kill any remaining cancerous cells in the breast and surrounding lymph nodes (Office of Womens Health). Radiation usually comes after the tumor is removed. Scientist and oncologist have created new chemo drugs with fewer side effects. Oncoplastic surgery is a newer treatment technique that involves combining cancer removal with plastic surgery, giving women breast that appear natural (Susan G...

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