What is breast cancer?
The purpose of this article is to explain what female breast cancer is and describes some of the treatment and prevention modalities. In addition the discussion will touch on the prevalence of female breast cancer in Australia and the USA. Female breast cancer has become important in the field of oncology because of the rising number of new cases.
2.0 Definition of female breast cancer
According to Luciani, et al (2013, p640), breast cancer occurs when there is an abnormal proliferation of cells leading to uncontrollable cell division and growth. In the face of treatment failure or lack of therapy, these malignant cells spread locally damaging the breast tissue. Also, spread can occur through the blood or lymphatic systems to other body organs causing distance damage. Breast cancer is a very common cause of death among women.
3.0 Female breast cancer incidence in Australia and the USA
Female cancer of the breast rate of occurrence is higher in the USA than in Australia. The population disparities between the two countries attribute to this difference. However, in both countries, the incidence is on the rise.
3.1 Incidence of female breast cancer in the USA
In agreement with Choi et al (2015, p708), the American Cancer Society shows 60,290 cases of in situ breast tumors and 231,840 new occurrences of breast carcinoma of the invasive type. Breast cancer occurs less commonly in Asian/Pacific Islander females. However, they are more common in American-Africa females and highest rates are in white females of the non-Hispanic descent. There is some variation of incidence rates according to each state.
3.2 Incidence of female breast cancer in Australia
As Sundaresan, Stockler, and Milross (2016, p13) estimates that breast cancer cases is 15,934 among the women populations. One in eight women in Australia will have breast cancer before the age of 85 years.The incidence of female breast cancer is on the rise, and by 2020, the incidence rate will be at 47 women per day. The highest rates of occurrence are in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
4.0 Prevention and treatment methods of female breast cancer
The following data discusses two methods of treatment including surgical approach and chemotherapy. It will also explain one modality of prevention;
4.1 Treatment by a surgical method
Management of early breast cancer usually comprises of surgery plus or minus radiotherapy. Mastectomy is the surgical management of breast cancer, especially for large tumors, central tumors underneath or the nipple, multifocal tumors, local flare-ups or patient preference (McGuire, 2012, p50). Patey mastectomy, which is the modified modern method, involves dissection of the breast and associated structures, including, axillary lymphatic system. After the surgery encouragement of early arm movements is crucial and physiotherapy enables quick recovery of normal functioning.
During the mastectomy, it is of benefit to the patient to remove the axilla as part of the operation. Apart from mastectomy, surgeons do conservative surgery with an aim of excising the tumor and at least one centimeter rim of healthy tissue. The disadvantage of this surgery is a higher rate of local recurrences.
4.2 Treatment by chemotherapy
Lippman, Osborne, & Morrow, (2012, p70) explain that chemotherapy is the systemic treatment of cancer for tumors that have spread to other parts of the body and in some patients before and after mastectomy. Following many clinical trials, it is evident that proper use of chemotherapy improves the relapse-free survival by 30% which leads to a 10% survival rate improvement in a period of 15 years. Lymph –node positive women and the high-risk groups should get a recommendation to use chemotherapy treatments. Modern drugs such as an anthracycline and the taxanes are more useful than the first generation regimens of cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and 5-fluorouracil (CMF).Cancer drugs use benefits both premenopausal and postmenopausal women with poor prognosis. Other indications of chemotherapy are node-negative patients with other adverse prognostic factors (Lippman, Osborne, & Morrow, 2012, p71). There is a realization of an additive effect in the combination of hormone and chemotherapy.
4.3 Prevention by use of hormone therapy in high-risk women.
According to Bridges et al (2011, p227), those women who test positive for hormone receptors of estrogen and progesterone are at high risk of developing cancer. Despite the view as an unhealthy behavior, taking FDA-approved hormone therapy can reduce the probability of carcinogenesis in the females whose risk is high at a significant rate. However, the drugs have some side effects, so there are not suitable for everyone.
Female breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death in women. The incidence is on the rise with the number of new cases being higher each year and the estimation of a continuous increase in the coming years. The various treatment and prevention methods aim is to have an early diagnosis and initiation of therapy to improve the survival rates through a multidisciplinary approach.
Bridges, J. F. P., Anderson, B. O., Buzaid, A. C., Jazieh, A. R., Niessen, L. W., Blauvelt, B. M., & Buchanan, D. R. (2011). Identifying important breast cancer control strategies in Asia, Latin America and the middle East/North Africa. BMC Health Services Research, 11, 227. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-11-227
Choi, S. K., Adams, S. A., Eberth, J. M., Brandt, H. M., Friedman, D. B., Tucker-Seeley, R., Hébert, J.,R. (2015). Medicaid coverage expansion and implications for cancer disparities. American Journal of Public Health, 105, S706-S712.
Luciani, S., Cabanes, A., Prieto-Lara, E., & Gawryszewski, V. (2013). Cervical and female breast cancers in the Americas: Current situation and opportunities for action. World Health Organization. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 91(9), 640-9.
ler, M. R., & Milross, C. G. (2016). What is access to radiation therapy? A conceptual framework and review of influencing factors. Australian Health Review, 40(1), 11-18. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AH14262