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Understanding Breast Cancer

Comfort Keepers In-Home Care in San Jose, California.

Comfort Keepers Home Care in San Jose, CA: Breast Cancer at a Glance

Breast Cancer becomes more prevalent in older women - make sure to check out these awareness tips from Home Care experts - Comfort Keepers of San Jose, CA.

The Effects and Implications of Breast Cancer

Many people have been affected by breast cancer and many people are close to someone who has had to endure this condition. As of 2017, close to and over 3 million Americans have successfully evaded demise by breast cancer. This significant statistic has been facilitated by massive breast cancer awareness and early treatment campaigns organized by various foundations. The development and use of more effective chemotherapy agents have also lead to a higher instance of survival. 

The American Cancer Association has shown that there has been a significant reduction in breast cancer-related deaths from 1989. This is due in part to the promotion of early screening and detection of breast cancer, and together with the use of better treatment modalities has contributed to the high number of breast cancer survivors.

While these are wonderful strides, breast cancer is still among the top two causes of cancer-related deaths in women. Comfort Keepers home care believes that there is a need for more aggressive breast cancer awareness and screening campaigns. This is especially important for elderly women who are more vulnerable to developing breast cancer. Any detection of a case of breast cancer in its early stages should be treated with the best care possible, particularly for women who are over 65 years.

What is breast cancer?

Cancer is associated with abnormal and unregulated growth of cells. In breast cancer, there is an abnormal and unsuppressed growth of breast cells as a result of modifications or mutations in genes regulating the cell growth cycle. The unsuppressed proliferation causes tumors to develop in the breast, tumors could either be malignant or benign; the threatening and non-threatening types respectively. Malignant tumors are the culprits in breast cancer. Some of the risk factors implicated in the development of breast cancer that Comfort Keepers at home care wishes to bring to your attention are:

  • Advanced age
  • Having a family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative
  • Having dense breast tissue
  • Having undergone radiotherapy on the breast or chest
  • Regular consumption of alcohol
  • The use of estrogen as well as progesterone containing medications

There are a number of breast cancer types and ductal carcinoma is the most common. It involves the lining of the ducts that drain to the nipple region. Lobular carcinoma is the other common variety that involves the lobules, milk-producing parts of the breast. The infrequent types include medullary carcinoma, low-grade adenosquamous carcinoma, and adenoid cystic carcinoma. The common feature of all these types is the imminent progression of breast cancer from a bad to worse state particularly with the involvement of lymph nodes.

The lymph nodes are clumps of cells found in the armpit region and they normally act as filters in the lymphatic system. Progression of breast cancer to involve lymph nodes is associated with a worse survival rate; poorer prognosis. Comfort Keepers home care is meant to address the emotions that come with elder learning they are in this stage.

Timely detection and Management of Breast Cancer

Of all the screening tests, self-breast examination among individuals at risk is highly recommended. You ought to check your breast for any abnormal swellings or lumps. A combination of this with regular visits to the health care providers for breast examination could help in the timely detection of breast cancer. You should also be on the lookout for symptoms and signs associated with breast cancer; breast pain, a change in color or scaling of the skin around the breast, abnormal nipple discharge and the development of an unusual breast swelling.

The use of mammograms in elderly women is also useful in the detection of early breast cancer lesions. Screening using mammograms involves the utilization of low-level X-rays which helps to outline the breast tissue, suitable for clients with no symptoms of breast cancer. Diagnostic mammograms reveal more details of the breast tissue.

Many people have brought up the debate of the cost vs. benefit analysis on the use of mammograms in vulnerable elderly women, particularly when treatment would be involved due to low survival rates in this group. It is recommended that the client’s decision after an outline of the various options should be adopted.

Comfort Keepers at home care advocates for seeking advice from a physician in such cases; the age-related factors that will have an implication in the treatment will be elaborated. The management of breast cancer could be done using surgical resection of the tumors, the use of chemo and radiotherapy and the use of hormone therapy for the receptor-positive breast cancers. The has useful information on breast treatment and the possible side effects of the treatment that one could manifest.