Authored by Lily Johnson

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer has proven to be one of the life-threatening diseases common in females. It is a condition developed when breast cells grow beyond control and form a lump like a mass. I have chosen this topic of breast cancer because it is one of the major areas of challenge in the nursing field. There are several types of this disease classified based on its localization or where it originates. Nonetheless, research has been done to establish the treatment of each condition. Breast cells form a tumor that can be seen through X-ray. It becomes cancerous when it spreads to other parts of the organ as well as the body. Thus, this paper provides a description of four types of breast cancer according to their progression and pathophysiology, which distinguishes their form of treatment. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most popular non-invasive breast cancer type because it does not go beyond milk-producing ducts. It starts from breast tissues of the latter. DCIS can elevate the risk of developing invasive breast cancer, which is fatal for a victim. Although it can be treated, there are high chances of its recurrence in a while. Symptoms are a lump felt when touching the breast and discharge seen on the nipple. The diagnosis of DCIS involves several procedural steps, namely a physical examination of the affected part and mammography. In case of doubts resulting from conducting such screening, a biopsy can be done in the form of fine needle aspiration, as well as a core needle, incisional and excisional biopsy. At this stage, pathologists can examine tissues to determine the type and grade of DCIS and the hormone receptor status. There are four standards of treatment of this type of breast cancer. The first one is lumpectomy accompanied by radiation therapy and mastectomy, this procedure in isolation or hormonal therapy popular in surgery. After treatment, a follow-up is necessary to avoid the recurrence of the disease in a patient. Invasive ductal carcinoma is another type of breast cancer abbreviated as IDC. This disease attacks breast tissues surrounding the breast beginning from milk pipes. This type is invasive and has the capability of spreading to lymph nodes amongst other body organs in this region. IDC affects women irrespective of their age. However, it is more popular in older women, being the most common breast cancer in the medical field. There are some symptoms associated with IDC. For example, the breast swells accompanied with skin irritation. A patient may feel breast or nipple pain with nipple discharge, which is different from normal milk. A lump can be felt under the arm, even thickening the nipple and the normal breast skin. Furthermore, tests used for the diagnosis of IDC allow determining its stage and gathering comprehensive information for the treatment of the disease. The latter has two distinct approaches. The first one is local treatment, which involves surgery and radiation therapy. Another approach is the systematic treatment of IDC, entailing chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and targeted therapies. After these procedures, a follow-up is done to reduce the possibility of the recurrence of this disease. Invasive lobular carcinoma is another popular breast cancer type known as infiltrating lobular carcinoma (ILC). It is popular internationally and in the United States of America. It starts from breast tissues in the milk-producing lobules. Therefore, this type of cancer interferes with the functioning of the latter. Furthermore, it can spread to lymph nodes. ILC affects women at old age, as opposed to teenagers and children, and has a similar approach to determining symptoms, treatment, and a follow-up as in case of IDC. Therefore, hormone replacement during menopause elevates the risks of this type. ILC has its specific symptoms differentiating it from other breast cancer conditions. For example, the breast may swell completely or partially. ILC has five subtypes, namely solid, alveolar, tubule lobular, pleomorphic, and signet ring cells . Inflammatory breast cancer blocks lymph vessels found in the breast. This type of cancer accelerates in weeks and is usually common in young females. Tumors associated with this disease are hormone-receptor-negative. Inflammatory breast cancer is popular in obese females as opposed to women with normal weight. Symptoms of this cancer type are associated with the accumulation of lymph in the breast skin. The diagnosis of this disease involves the rapid beginning of erythema covering a third of the breast and determining the manifestation of symptoms for half a year followed by an initial biopsy. Imaging and testing include PET or a CT scan, mammogram and ultrasound along lymph nodes. Treatment involves neoadjuvant chemotherapy, as well as targeted, hormone, surgery, radiation, and adjuvant therapies. However, there are factors that account for a patient's prognosis. In conclusion, breast cancer aggressiveness and spread can be avoided when diagnosed at the right time. Nonetheless, inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive type of this disease. It can be diagnosed within weeks where the lymph region is the origin of the growth of abnormal cells. Ductal carcinoma in situ is the only type of non-invasive breast cancer. Future research should be done on the problem of how to avoid the recurrence of these types of breast cancer, which is the major challenge currently.

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