phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg.jpeg

Breast Cancer

"Save the Ta-Tas"

(http://www.savethetatas.com/)

By: Alexis Koslosky

December 9, 2010


Abstract

Breast cancer is a disease that everyone will have a connection to sometime in their life, whether it is their relatives, friends, or themselves. It is the second most common cancer among women, and also the second leading cause of death among cancers for women. Women today need to be aware that this disease has become more prevalent, and what precautions that can take to lower their chance of developing the cancer. Breast cancer, like all cancers, has different stages. The treatment that people go through is dependent on which stage they are in; the lower the stage the higher chance of survival. Women should know the different symptoms that are associated with breast cancer so that if they occur they will know that they need to be seen by a physician as soon as possible. Women need to take charge of their health and learn what they can do to become aware of the disease.

Introduction

I choose to do my research of breast cancer because it has impacted my life and I do not know as much as I should about it. My grandma died from breast cancer, and three of my aunts, my cousin, and many family friends have been diagnosed with the disease. I am genetically predisposed for getting breast cancer, so I wanted to find as much as I could about the disease especially the symptoms that are associated with it. There are many risk factors that if they apply to you could increase your chance of getting breast cancer. The symptoms of breast cancer are very noticeable that women should regularly be giving themselves self-exams because the earlier the better because you dod not want the cancer to spread to different areas of the body. There are many types of exams that can be used to diagnose breast cancer, but the only one that can tell you with 100% confidence is a biopsy. (Buechler, 12/4/10). The treatment used depends on what stage you are when you are diagnosed. There is a huge prevalence of breast cancer in the United States. The biggest thing that women need to realize is that an early diagnose could be the factor of life and death, so women need to become comfortable with their breasts and give themselves regular self-exams.


breastselfexam.gif
(http://www.englishsabla.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36676)

Discussion

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is when there is an abnormal group of cells that was abnormal growing patterns that develops in the breast tissue. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women. For women it is also the second leading cause of death among cancer, right after lung cancer. In the United States there is an estimated 178,480 new diagnoses each year, and that number continues to grow. A woman has a 1 out of 8 chance of developing breast cancer within her lifetime. The death rate among those diagnosed with breast cancer is beginning to decline because of the increased awareness, earlier screening, and improved treatments. The most serious type of cancer is metastatic cancer, which is when the cancer cells move to different tissues than where they started originally. The most common place for breast cancer to spread to is the lymph nodes that are under the arm or above the collarbone of the side that the cancer is present. Other places that they could spread to are the brain, bones, and liver. (Buechler 12/4/10)


Risk Factors

  • Gender- occurs mainly in women
  • Age- as your age increases so does your chance of developing breast cancer (Gail, 1880)
  • Race- white woman are more likely to develop breast cancer than African American women in the United States
  • Personal history- previously having breast cancer puts you 75% more likely to develop a new tumor in the same or other breast.
  • Genetics/Family History- women who have blood relatives that have this disease have a higher risk of developing it. 85% of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history.
    • Genes are responsible for 5-10% of breast cancer. The genes that are associated with breast cancer are BCRA1 and BCRA2. Women with these genes have an 80% chance of developing breast cancer.
(Buechler), (American Cancer Society)

Symptoms

  • Lump on the breast, in the armpit, or above the collarbone
  • Bloody discharge from the nipple
  • Nipple inversion
  • Skin changes on the breast
  • Change in the size or shape of the breast
  • But most breast cancer is discovered before any symptoms develop
(Mayo Clinic)

Exams and Tests

  • A breast exam includes visually examining and feeling the breast, armpit, and collarbone area. Also feeling the thickness of a lump if present.
  • Mammograms include a x-ray of the breast, which helps tell the nature of the lump. The doctors are usually able to tell if the lump is malignant. Is used both for screening and diagnostic. It is advised that women forty and older should have a mammogram every one to two years. (National Cancer Institute)
  • Ultrasounds are done to evaluate the breast lump. With the ultrasound you will be able to tell if the mass is filled with fluid or is solid. Cancerous tumors are normally solid while cysts, which are benign, are fluid.
  • MRIs can take detailed pictures of the breast, and is able to give you more detailed pictures than mammograms or ultrasounds could.
  • A biopsy is the only certain way to find out if you have breast cancer. A biopsy is when they take a piece of tissue from the breast that is suspected to be infected and examine it under a microscope for abnormal cells.
(Buechler)

Stages of Breast Cancer

Stage
Definition
Stage 0
Cancer cells remain inside the breast duct, without invasion into normal adjacent breast tissue.
Stage I
Cancer is 2 centimeters or less and is confined to the breast (lymph nodes are clear).
Stage IIA
No tumor can be found in the breast, but cancer cells are found in the axillary lymph nodes (the lymph nodes under the arm)
OR
the tumor measures 2 centimeters or smaller and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes
OR
the tumor is larger than 2 but no larger than 5 centimeters and has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes.
Stage IIB
The tumor is larger than 2 but no larger than 5 centimeters and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes
OR
the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters but has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes.
Stage IIIA
No tumor is found in the breast. Cancer is found in axillary lymph nodes that are sticking together or to other structures, or cancer may be found in lymph nodes near the breastbone
OR
the tumor is any size. Cancer has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, which are sticking together or to other structures, or cancer may be found in lymph nodes near the breastbone.
Stage IIIB
The tumor may be any size and has spread to the chest wall and/or skin of the breast
AND
may have spread to axillary lymph nodes that are clumped together or sticking to other structures, or cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone.


Inflammatory breast cancer is considered at least stage IIIB.
Stage IIIC
There may either be no sign of cancer in the breast or a tumor may be any size and may have spread to the chest wall and/or the skin of the breast
AND
the cancer has spread to lymph nodes either above or below the collarbone
AND
the cancer may have spread to axillary lymph nodes or to lymph nodes near the breastbone.
Stage IV
The cancer has spread — or metastasized — to other parts of the body.
(http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/what_is_bc.jsp)

Treatment

  • Radiation is used to destroy cancer cells, usually after surgery. It can reduced the risk of a breast cancer tumor reforming by 70%.
  • Chemotherapy is used to weaken and kill cancer cells. It targets cancer cells at the original site and in spreading areas and it travels throughout the bloodstream.
  • Hormone therapy is used to block or suppress estrogen from being recognized therefore can reduce the risk of tumors redeveloping after surgery. It is used to shrink or slow the growth of developing breast cancers.
  • Surgery is the first step after confirming that the cancer is malignant. Which surgery is done is determined by the size and type of the tumor.
(Weiss)

Prevalence



time3.jpg
(http://healthmap.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/world-breast-cancer-incidence-rates/)

United States:
  • In 2010 there are suspected to be an estimated 207,090 new cases in women, and 1970 new cases in men. On a sad note there are supposed to be 39,840 deaths among females and 390 death among males.

Literature Cited

American Cancer Society. "What Causes Breast Cancer?" American Cancer Society :: Information and Resources for Cancer: Breast, Colon, Prostate, Lung and Other Forms. 24 Sept. 2010. Web. 04 Dec. 2010. <http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/overviewguide/breast-cancer- overview-what-causes>.

Buechler, Mary. "Breast Cancer Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment on EMedicineHealth.com." Emedicinehealth. 13 Apr. 2007. Web. 04 Dec. 2010. <http://www.emedicinehealth.com/breast_cancer/article_em.htm>.Gail, Mitchell H., Louise A. Brinton, David P. Byar, Donald K. Corle, Sylvan B. Green, Catherine Schairer, and John J. Mulvihill. "Projecting Individualized Probabilities of Developing Breast Cancer for White Females Who Are Being Examined Annually." Journal of the National Cancer Institute 81.24 (1989): 1879-886. Print.Mayo Clinic. "Breast Cancer: Symptoms - MayoClinic.com." Mayo Clinic Medical Information and Tools for Healthy Living - MayoClinic.com. 19 Nov. 2009. Web. 04 Dec. 2010. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/breast-cancer/DS00328/DSECTION=symptoms>.National Cancer Institute. "Mammograms - National Cancer Institute." Comprehensive Cancer Information - National Cancer Institute. 22 Sept. 2010. Web. 04 Dec. 2010. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/mammograms>.Weiss, Marisa. "Radiation Therapy." BreastCancer.org - Breast Cancer Treatment Information and Pictures. 1 May 2009. Web. 08 Dec. 2010. <http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/radiation/>.