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Breast Cancer

– most common cancer in women.

  • Procedure for Breast Self Examinations (BSE)
  • Done regularly on a monthly basis or 3-7 days after the end of menses.
  • After menopause, BSE should be done on a particular day/date every month.

PROCEDURE FOR A BSE:

  1. Inspect, by standing in front of a mirrorand visually inspect with arms at the sides
  2. Assess the size, symmetry, shape and the color, nipple size and shape
  3. Palpation: woman should be lying down with the opposite arm behind the head.
  4. Use fingertips to palpate in a rotary motion in a circular motion.

Predisposing factors of women for high risk for breast cancer
– Gender (female is at high risk)
– Age and Race
– Geneetics (BRCA 1 and BRCA 2)
– Menopause (after 55 yrs. of age)

Symptoms/Assessment

  • Painless lump in the breast or underarm
  • Flattening or indentation on the breast.
  • Change in the size, contour, texture of the breast
  • pitted surface like the skin of an orange could be a sign of advanced breast cancer.
  • A change in the nipple, such as an indrawn or dimpled look.
  • Unusual discharge from the nipple that may be clear, bloody, or another color

Treatment:

  • Breast cancer surgery
  • Removing the breast cancer (lumpectomy). During lumpectomy, which may be referred to as breast-sparing surgery or wide local excision, the surgeon removes the tumor and a small margin of surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Removing the entire breast (mastectomy). Mastectomy is surgery to remove all of your breast tissue.
  • Removing one lymph node (sentinel node biopsy). Breast cancer that spreads to the lymph nodes may spread to other areas of the body. Your surgeon determines which lymph node near your breast tumor receives the lymph drainage from your cancer.
  • Radiation therapy Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of energy, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is typically done using a large machine that aims the energy beams at your body (external beam radiation). But radiation can also be done by placing radioactive material inside your body (brachytherapy).
  • Chemotherapy Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. If your cancer has a high chance of returning or spreading to another part of your body, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy to decrease the chance that the cancer will recur. This is known as adjuvant systemic chemotherapy.
  • Hormone therapy  Hormone therapy — perhaps more properly termed hormone-blocking therapy — is often used to treat breast cancers that are sensitive to hormones. Doctors sometimes refer to these cancers as estrogen receptor positive (ER positive) and progesterone receptor positive (PR positive) cancers.

Treatments that can be used in hormone therapy include:

  • Medications that block hormones from attaching to cancer cells.Tamoxifen is the most commonly used selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). SERMs act by blocking estrogen from attaching to the estrogen receptor on the cancer cells, slowing the growth of tumors and killing tumor cells.

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