Previous chest radiation Essay

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Women who menstruate at an early age and menopause at a later age are likely to develop breast cancer (American Cancer Society, n. pag). This can be associated with the longer exposure to estrogen and progesterone hormones. Women who had undergone a radiation therapy on the chest area at an early age can significantly increase the risk for breast cancer, especially if the breasts are still developing when the therapy was taken (American Cancer Society, n. pag. ). Stages Breast cancer, as other kind of cancer, starts from a single dot that develops into a threatening stage when it is not detected and treated at an earliest time.

The purpose of staging the disease is to ascertain the type and degree of treatment that may be applied to the patient. Normally, the stages of breast cancer start from 0 to III. Stage 0 This is otherwise known as the non- evasive breast cancer (American Cancer Society, n. pag. ). At this stage, no evidence of cancer cell breakage or invasion into other tissues can be noticed. Stage I Stage I is known by invasive breast cancer (American Cancer Society, n. pag. ). During this stage, the cancer cells starts to invade or spread to other normal tissues. The tumor can also be noticed as grows to two centimeters (American Cancer Society, n.

pag. ). Although there is no lymph nodes involved (American Cancer Society, n. pag. ). Stage II At this stage, the cancer cells expands to the lymph nodes under the arm or the tumor increases up to five centimeters (American Cancer Society, n. pag). During this stage, the lymph node are not yet united to other nodes and to other normal tissues. Stage IIIA The cancer is said to have advanced to stage III when the tumor measure more than five centimeters or when the lymph nodes are clump together or stuck to one another or to other tissues (American Cancer Society, n. pag. ). Stage IIIB

This stage is characterized by the spread of the tumor, at any size, to the breast skin, internal mammary gland, or chest wall (American Cancer Society, n. pag. ). This stage also includes the inflammatory breast cancer, a very serious but rare type (American Cancer Society, n. pag. ). Inflammatory breast cancer is distinguished by the redness and warmness in some or in all part of the breast. Stage IV The breast cancer has advanced to the last stage when the tumor expands on to the breast, underarm, and internal mammary lymph nodes and also on lungs, bone, or brain (American Cancer Society, n.

pag. ). This stage also includes Metastatic cancer, which is the spread of cancer. Treatments of Breast cancer At an early, the suitable treatment for is the breast conservation that involves lumpectomy. On this process, the infected tissues and the surrounding normal tissues are removed (National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, n. pag. ). This shall be coupled by surgery and followed by radiation therapy which is used to kill the tumor cells left after surgery. Research has shown that radiation therapy is as effective as mastectomy, which is the surgical removal of the breast.

Other medication may include prescription of hormone- blocking drug tamoxifin for post- menopausal women, and ovarian ablation to younger women. Ovarian ablation is the stopping the ovaries from producing estrogen and can be done either by removing the ovaries or by prescribing certain drugs (National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, n. pag. ). Chemotherapy is also used to treat breast cancer. Chemotherapy is the medication that kills cancer cells or stops them from growing (National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, n. pag. ).

It can be done in three strategies namely; adjuvant chemotherapy, presurgical chemotherapy, and therapeutic chemotherapy. Adjuvant chemotherapy is given to reduce the possibility of returning of the cancer and is given to people who had surgery or radiation while presurgical chemotherapy is used to shrink or kill the stray cancer cells and to completely get rid of the cancer (National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, n. pag. ). Therapeutic chemotherapy, on the other hand, is given to women whose cancer has spread beyond the breast or those who have serious case of breast cancer.

For advance breast cancer, the treatment may include chemotherapy. Treatments given to metastatic breast cancer are aimed to reduce the symptoms experienced by the patient so that the quality of her life may be improved. The treatments may include stopping the growth of the cancer and using one or more anti- cancer treatments depending on the parts of the body that has been affected by the cancer (National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, n. pag. ). Such therapies available are high- dose chemotherapy, immunotherapies, gene therapies, and targeting therapies.

However, their efficacies are not yet measured. Among the immunotherapies, only the monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) have been approved for breast cancer (National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, n. pag. ). However, there are other forms that are under observation. The Herceptin or MAb trastuzumab is on top of the list which is used by women with cancer cells having too many copies of HER2/neu gene (American Cancer Society, n. pag. ). The HER2/neu gene is able to produce extra receptors to stimulate growth on the cells resulting into a more aggressive breast cancer.

When the trastuzumab are attached to the receptors, the growth is lowered because the access to the cancer cells are blocked (American Cancer Society, n. pag. ). Another form of immunotherapies is the Bevacizumab or Avastin, which is an antibody that helps slow the growth of blood vessels in the tumor (American Cancer Society, n. pag. ). Some promising treatments for advanced breast cancer are interferons and interleukons, autologous vaccine therapy, and other antigen vaccine.

These immunotherapies are being studied because their effectivity has not yet been ascertained. Conclusion Among the women, the disease that is very threatening is the breast cancer. Cases of breast cancer are increasing every year and so with the mortality rate. Yet treatments do not give complete assurance. Moreover, treatments are so expensive that are not available to poor patients. Cancer, as generally known, is a disease that is traitor and known only at a later stage.

In order to avoid getting breast cancer, n individual shall be aware of the risk factors and avoid it as soon as possible.

Works cited Baum, Michael, and Schipper, Harvey. Fast Facts Breast Cancer. Oxford: Health Press, 1999. Cadwell, Karin, and Maffei, Cindy, T. Breastfeeding A-Z: Terminology and Telephone Triage. New York: Jones & Barlett Publishers, 2006. Detailed Guide: Breast Cancer. 13 September 2007. American Cancer Society. 24 June 2008 . Franz, Mary. Diet and Breast Cancer.

Vegan Handbook:Over 200 Delicious Recipes, Meal Plans and Vegetarian Resources for All Ages. Ed. Debra Wasserman & Reed Mangels. Vegetarian Resource Group, 1996. 193. Genetic Testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2: Its Your Choice. 2 June 2002. National Cancer Institute. 24 June 2008 . Treatment options. 28 November 2006. National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre. 24 June 2008 .

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