Cancer is a disease that is dreaded by many and is gradually becoming a world health crisis as incidences of the deadly disease in different parts of the world continues to heighten. Breast cancer, for instance, is one of the most invasive cancers that have shaken the foundation of families and caused severe panic in most communities as it is a chronic disease is whose chances of surviving are slim and the process of treatments takes a toll on victims emotionally and economically. Every year hundreds of women lose their lives to breast cancer across the globe and millions are living with it. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most widespread cancer and the second most cause of death in women after lung cancer. Breast cancer affects mainly women ages 55-60 years. Breast cancer is also found in men but it is not common (In Ring, & In Parton, 2016).
People Also Read
Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in a person’s breast, and in women does commence in the milk ducts inner lining before spreading to other body parts (In Ring, & In Parton, 2016). Unfortunately, controlling or preventing the occurrence of the cancerous cells has proven extremely tough as its real causes are still unknown. However, genetics and certain lifestyle factors like obesity, alcohol consumption, failure to breastfeed for a period of one year, exposure to radiation, and some hormonal treatment to increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer. Symptoms of breast cancer include a lump in the breast or an armpit, or an area of thickened tissue in the breast, which usually are the first signs that most people are advised to look out for in a bid promote early diagnosis. Other signs are rashes around or on a nipple, blood discharge from a nipple, an alteration in the breast shape or size, and a recurring pain in the breast or armpits.
Various breast cancer treatments are administered depending on the type of cancer, its stage, age, overall health as well as preferences of the patient. At the moment there is no definite cure for cancer but a patient’s chances of survival are enhanced by early diagnosis and treatment (In Ring, & In Parton, 2016). Statistics show that treatment options have produced better outcomes when the cancer is discovered at the initial stage when the tumor is starting to develop and has not spread to other body parts compared to the advanced stage. Conventional treatment for breast cancer includes chemotherapy and surgery in severe cases. Other treatments are radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and biological therapy. Although the rate of death from cancer has gone done over the years, cancer is still a nightmare that requires community effort and resources to mitigate as the deaths it causes are relatively high as incidences of tumor reoccurrence increases as some tumors become resistant to available treatments.
So, far there are no absolute means of preventing cancer. However, individuals are advised to excise regularly, avoid taking too much alcohol, eat a balanced inclusive of fresh fruits and vegetables, and maintain appropriate body weight. Recently, there has been advancement in research that aims at finding effective preventive measures for breast cancer. For instance, there is the discovery of rare genetic mutations that are prone to the disease which could help further research into the cure. There is also a discovery of a drug, tamoxifen that helps prevent the reoccurrence of cancer. Furthermore, new research shows that there is a chance that osteoporosis drugs might aid prevent cancer in people at high risk, those with BRCA1 gene mutation (Russo, 2016).
Addressing breast cancer is very crucial, and requires collective efforts otherwise it could result in serious health problems for the individual in the future and even contribute to death. Over the years, the challenge of the war against breast cancer has been late diagnosis whereby the cancer is discovered in its advanced stage, and at this stage, the probability of saving the life of the victim normally is very minimal. The symptoms of breast cancer at times are hard to realize as they are not pronounced and do not result in an immediate health problem that can prompt a patient to go seek help. As a result, many people live with cancer, which often contributes to death if not treated. The tumor that starts from the breast has the potential to spread to other body parts like the lymph and liver thus with time if not treated does contribute to other health problems that could significantly lower the quality of life (In Toi, In Winer, In Benson & In Klimberg, 2016). The disease also has negative implications for the individual’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being as it is associated with unrelenting pain that results in frustrations and stress.
The consequences of breast cancer are not exclusive to individual victims and their families but rather the entire society as it is associated with grave social, economic, and political challenges. Socially, breast cancer contributes to emotional and psychological pain for the victims, their families, and the entire community. Normally, the treatment takes a long time and is accompanied by severe side effects like constant fatigue that renders a patient unable to take of herself thus tasking other people to do it, which often is time-consuming and stressful. Thus, breast cancer interferes with certain community activities when individuals invare olved in becoming sick and can no longer actively participate. Society also stands the possibility of losing invaluable societal members. Economically, breast cancer leads to poverty due to expensive treatments, loss of the source of income for victims, and the loss of people that contribute to the building of the economy. Politically, it has implications on public health policies concerning health insurance programs as well as prevention, and allocation of resources geared towards finding the cure (In Ring, & In Parton, 2016).
Currently, there are several regulations at the federal as well as state-level related to screening practices, care, the release of information to patients, and health insurance offered to patients that tackles breast cancer. For example, the state of Texas and Virginia under the Breast Density and Mammography Reporting Act (H.R. 1302) requires all mammography reports to have the patient’s breast density information for recommendations of supplemental screening tests (Hsueh & Prakash, 2012). This promotes effective diagnosis but has spiked a lot of controversies. It has been liked to increased cases of false-positive outcomes and unnecessary biopsies as well as overdiagnosis leading to unrequired treatments among women with dense breast density but no other symptoms. Promoting a patient-centered framework in which shared decision making is crucial. The physicians should provide evidence regarding the effectiveness, advantages, and dangers of various screening alternatives for various patients and not be forced to carry out supplemental screening for patients with specific characteristics.
Hsueh, L., & Prakash, A. (2012). Incentivizing self-regulation: Federal vs. state-level voluntary programs in US climate change policies. Regulation & Governance, 6(4), 445-473. doi:10.1111/j.1748-5991.2012.01140.x
In Ring, A., & In Parton, M. (2016). Breast cancer survivorship: Consequences of early breast cancer and its treatment. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
In Toi, M., In Winer, E. P., In Benson, J. R., & In Klimberg, V. S. (2016). Personalized treatment of breast cancer.
Russo, J. (2016). Book Review of Trends in Breast Cancer Prevention. Journal of Cancer Prevention & Current Research, 6(1). doi:10.15406/jcpcr.2016.06.00192
With a student-centered approach, I create engaging and informative blog posts that tackle relevant topics for students. My content aims to equip students with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed academically and beyond.