Comfort Keepers Companion Care in Lancaster, CA: Comprehending Breast Cancer
Companion care experts - Comfort Keepers of Lancaster, CA discuss how breast cancer can affect your senior loved one
A brief overview of the Situation
The number of people who have been affected by breast cancer is overwhelming. It is estimated that about 3 million Americans are breast cancer survivors, as of 2017, a figure that has been actualized after a massive effort regarding breast cancer awareness campaigns. In addition to this, efforts of the various organizations as well as foundations have led to a steady decline in deaths occasioned by breast cancer. The data collected by American Cancer Association has shown that the breast cancer-related deaths have been decreasing at a steady rate since 1989. This has been attributed to earlier diagnoses that have been made during the cancer screening programs, as well as the effective anti-cancer drugs that have been developed.
Albeit the breast cancer related deaths have declined significantly due to improved survival rates, breast cancer is still the second top cause of deaths in women as result of cancer. Comfort Keepers companion care believes that efforts still need to be channeled towards early screening and the development of newer and effective modes of treatment. Considering the impact of this condition, all adult women should be actively involved in dealing with it. It is good to mention that any case of suspected breast cancer should be treated with the care that it deserved, especially for adult women who are older than 65 years.
What’s Breast Cancer?
Cancer is basically regarded as an abnormal growth of cells, in the case of breast cancer; the breast cells undergo an unsuppressed growth as a result of mutations or genetic alterations in the genes which regulate cell growth. The aftermath of this unsuppressed growth, is the development of a tumor. Tumors could either be non-threatening; benign or they could as well be threatening, malignant. Malignant tumors are the culprits in breast cancer. Some of the notable risk factors that Comfort Keepers companion care would wish to know include:
- A history of breast cancer in the family, especially the first degree relatives
- Old age
- Having dense breast tissue
- Chronic alcohol intake
- A history of radiation therapy to the chest or breast areas
- The use of estrogen or progesterone containing drugs
Of all the types of breast cancer, the majority are ductal carcinoma; the cells lining the ducts which drain milk to the nipple region under malignant transformation. Lobular carcinoma is the other more common type which develops in the lobules, the milk producing regions in the breast tissue. The other less common types are low-grade adenosquamous carcinoma, medullary carcinoma and adenoid cystic carcinoma just to mention a few. In all types, breast cancer eventually ends being worse with the lymph nodes being involved from an initial bad state. Comfort Keepers companion care knows how emotionally vulnerable the victims are at this stage.
Lymph nodes refer to a group of cells which are clumped together under the armpit; they are usually involved in filtration process in our bodies’ lymphatic system. Survival rates are drastically affected with the involvement of the lymph nodes in breast cancer; poor prognosis. With involvement of the lymphatic system, the cancer gets to easily spread to other regions of the body.
Detection and Treatment of Breast Cancer
The detection of breast cancer can be done by individual women, via self examination. It is recommended that you check your breast tissue by palpating for lumps or any unusual masses. Additionally, you need to have a health care provider check on your breast on a regular basis. Some of the other pointers of breast cancer include any pain in the breasts or nipples, scaling or reddening of the skin, skin irritation, swelling of the breast or any abnormal nipple discharge.
Besides undertaking self examination, it is also good to consider having a mammogram of your breasts being taken. Mammography is a key tool in breast cancer screening and it involves the use of low-level X-ray for a better view of the breast tissue. You could either be checked using a screening mammogram; a general tool for those with no symptoms while diagnostic mammograms are used to obtain finer details of the state of the breast tissue.
The jury is out on whether older women should undergo screening using mammograms coupled with other screening tests. The cost and usefulness of the screening programs have weighed against the life expectancy of the older women especially once cancer has been detected. While many may have opposing views, the choice lies with what a given client prefers.
Comfort Keepers companion care thinks that it will be best if you choose to consult a physician on the best way forward. With the help of a physician, you will be let in on some of the age-related factors that will determine how successful the treatment would be. Options in the management of breast cancer include surgical resections, chemotherapy, radiation therapy as well as hormone therapy for the hormone receptor positive tumors. You will find useful data from BreastCancer.org as they have a comprehensive and elaborate guide on treatment options, what appropriate for a given breast cancer type and some of the side effects to be on the lookout for.