Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment

The human body is made up of cells. When a cell dies the body automatically replaces it with a new healthy cell, but sometimes the cell is not healthy and grows out of control. These cells group together and form a lump that can be seen on an x-ray. Breast cancer is a tumor in the cells of person’s breast. It can spread throughout the breast to the person’s lymph nodes and other parts of the body. Sometimes it occurs in the lobules, but most of the time it starts in the ductal carcinoma. Everyone has breast, so males and females can get breast cancer, but it is more common in females.

Breast cancer is important to me because it was in my family. In 2010, my grandmother found a lump on her breast, so she went to the doctor to have it checked. The doctor did a biopsy, and when the results came back it was malignant. The doctor told her she had stage IV breast cancer. First, she had a mastectomy and some lymph nodes removed. Then, she started chemotherapy and radiation. She was on chemotherapy for three years and received thirty sessions of radiation. She experienced some amount of depression, anxiety, and fear during this time. Two weeks after she started chemotherapy all of her hair fell out. We got her a wig, but it was hot to wear, and usually irritated her scalp. There were days that she was sick and could not eat anything at all and there were days she did eat, but still got sick. She lost twenty five pounds during her treatment. I have seen her lying in a bed receiving chemotherapy while my mother held a trash can for her to throw up in. The radiation that she received five days a week for six weeks burned the skin on her chest. Everyday she would come home and put an antibiotic ointment on it. Now, she has a permanent suntan on her chest. It is still a very sensitive area. She is in remission and has been for five years. She has continued to see an Oncologist every three months, and she will do this for the rest of her life.

According to the American Cancer Society each year more than 266,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. This means about one in eight women, or twelve percent of all women will contract the disease, and 3.5% of them will die from breast cancer (U.S. Breast Cancer). Doctors do not know the cause of cancer, but some of the factors that can increase a person’s chance of developing breast cancer are alcohol use, childbirth, hormone replacement therapy, obesity, and radiation (U.S. Breast Cancer). Some of these factors may be avoided, and some may not. There are 4 stages of breast cancer and several treatments, although treatments vary from types and stages of breast cancer. There can be a chance for a long full life after breast cancer because of the treatments that are available. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death among women who are 40 to 55 years old (Health Equity). Doctors encourage women to be tested more frequently when there is a family history of breast cancer because there is a higher chance for a woman whose mother or grandmother has had breast cancer to develop it.

Breast cancer is one of many cancers that are affecting people every day. There are ways to prevent it and even diagnose it early. There are multiple websites, organizations, and doctors who one can talk to and find out more information about it. Everyone should be informed about it, so he or she can be aware and try his or her best to prevent it. Even if a person does not have breast cancer, chances are that he or she knows or will know someone who has it or will get it. The most important things a person can do to help prevent breast cancer is to live a healthy life, do daily breast exams, and have regular mammograms. The reason to have regular mammograms is because sometimes a patient can not feel the tumor because it is too small, but it can be seen on a mammogram. Tumors that are detected in the early stages of development have a better chance of being cured.

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