Understanding a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

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Updated: Oct 19, 2023
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Understanding a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

A deep dive into the multiple diagnostic tools and methodologies employed to detect breast cancer. This would cover mammograms, biopsies, and molecular testing, elucidating their relevance, accuracy, and potential challenges in the diagnostic process. Moreover, at PapersOwl, there are additional free essay samples connected to Breast Cancer topic.

Category:Breast Cancer
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Breast cancer is often known as an aggressive cancer. It forms when cells grow uncontrollably in the tissues of the breast, leading to a tumor. Over 190,000 individuals are diagnosed yearly (Cancer Center). Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death, and the rate increases every year in women, and occasionally in men. Over 12 percent of women in the United States of America will face breast cancer in their lifetime. It is the most common cause of death in women between the ages of forty and fifty-five (Cancer Org).

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Women who are over the age of sixty are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Ten to fifteen percent of cases appear in women younger than forty-five. Early breast cancer is difficult to detect and often shows few symptoms. The most noticeable symptom is a lump or a mass within the breast tissue. As the tumor expands, it can change the appearance and feel of the breast. Concerns and symptoms relating to breast cancer include changes in size or shape of the breast, lumps under the arm, changes in breast color, discharge from the nipple, and pain and tenderness of the breast (Cancer Center).

Risk factors and early detection are necessary in the fight against cancer. Genetics pose a double risk factor; it’s crucial that your doctor is aware of your family’s history with cancer. Obesity, having your first child after the age of thirty, using birth control for over ten years, experiencing menopause at an older age, starting menstruation before the age of twelve, heavy drinking, and radiation from another cancer are all risk factors for developing cancer. Women aged forty and older are particularly at risk (Cancer Center).

Monthly self-breast exams, mammograms, biopsies, clinical breast exams, and lab tests with breast tissue are ways to rule out cancer. Women between the ages of twenty and thirty should have a clinical breast exam at their yearly physical, and women aged forty and older should have an annual mammogram (Breast Cancer Charities).

There are four stages and several treatments for breast cancer. Stage 1 (invasive): the tumor measures up to 2cm and no cancer has spread outside the breast. Treatment often involves a mastectomy (removal of the breast) or chemotherapy to lower the risk of recurrence. Stage 2 (advanced): the tumor measures 2-5cm, and cancer has spread to the axillary lymph nodes under the arm. Treatment includes mastectomy, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Stage 3 (advanced): the tumor is more than 2 inches, and lymph nodes have spread to other nodes surrounding the breast. Treatment includes lymph node removal, mastectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy. Stage 4 (metastatic): cancer has spread beyond the breast throughout the body, commonly targeting the lungs, brain, skin, bone, liver, or brain. Treatment is similar to stage 3 but also includes radiation to other affected parts of the body (Breast Cancer Org).

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Understanding a Breast Cancer Diagnosis. (2019, May 11). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/understanding-breast-cancer-diagnosis/