Cancer is a disease that is characterized by an abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and in some cases to metastasize. Cancer can involve any tissue of the body and have many different forms in each body part. Most cancers are named for the type of cell or organ in which they start. The frequency of a particular cancer may depend on gender. While skin cancer is the most common type of malignancy for both men and women, the second most common type in men is prostate cancer and in women, breast cancer. Staging.
Staging is the process used to find out how much cancer is in the body and the location. This is how the physicians learn the stage of a person’s cancer and use this information to choose treatment options. This also helps the physician predict the patient’s prognosis. Cancers with the same stage tend to have similar outlooks and are often treated the same way. The cancer stage is also a way for physicians to describe the extent of the cancer when they talk with each other about a person’s case.
Physicians need to know the amount of cancer and where it is in the body to be able to choose the best possible treatment. Diagnosis Breast cancer is sometimes found after symptoms appear such as a lump or an area of thickened tissue in a patient’s breast, a change in size or shape of one of the breast, discharge from either of the nipples but many women with early breast cancer have no symptoms and therefore screening is recommended. The doctors perform a physical examination; thorough examination for any lumps or suspicious areas and to feel their texture, size, relationship to the skin and chest muscles. Any changes in the nipples or skin of the patient’s breast should be noted.
IMAGING TESTS USED TO EVALUATE BREAST DISEASE/CANCER Mammograms; is an x-ray of the breast. Screening mammograms are used to look for breast disease in women with no symptoms or signs of a breast problem. It usually takes two views –x- ray pictures taken from different angles of each breast. Breast ultra-sound; it uses sound waves to outline a part of the body. Used to target a specific area of concern found on the mammogram. It helps distinguish between cysts (fluid filled sacs) and solid masses and sometimes can help tell the difference between benign and cancerous tumours.
Can also be used to look for enlarged lymph nodes under the arm. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast uses radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-rays. If an abnormal area in the breast is found, it can often be biopsied using an MRI for guidance. Used along with mammograms for screening women who have a high risk of developing breast cancer or it can be used to better examine suspicious areas found by a mammogram. OTHER TESTS INCLUDE; Nipple discharge exam; if one is having nipple discharge, some of the fluid may be collected and looked under a microscope to see if any cancer cells are in it.
Ductal lavage and nipple aspiration; is an experimental test developed for women who have no symptoms of breast cancer but are at very high risk for the disease. An aesthetic cream is applied to numb the nipple area. Gentle suction is then used to help draw tiny amounts of fluid from the milk ducts up to the nipple surface, which helps locate the ducts’ natural opening. Nipple aspiration also looks for abnormal cells developing in the ducts. Biopsy; done when mammograms, other imaging test, or the physical exam finds a breast chande(or abnormality) that is possibly cancer.
A biopsy is the only way to tell if cancer is really present. Stage is usually expressed as a number on a scale of 0 through IV Sgage 0;describes noninvasive breast cancers, such as ductal carcinoma in situ. Here there is no evidence of cancer or non –cancerous abnormal cells breaking out of the part of the breast in which they started or getting through to or invading neighbouring normsl cells. Stage I; describes invasive breast cancer. Stage II;describes invasive breast cancer in which no tumour can be found in the breast, but cancer is found in 1 to 3 axillary lymph nodes or in the lymph nodes near the breast bone.
Stage III;No tumour is found in the breast or the tumour found may be any size;cancer is found in the 4 or 9 axillary lymph nodes or the lymph nodes near the breast bone. Stage IV;describes invasive breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes to other organs of the body such as the lungs,distant lymph nodes,skin,bones,liver or brain. Complications of Cancer Pain can be caused by cancer or by cancer treatment, though not all cancer is painful. Medications and other approaches can effectively treat cancer-related pain.
There are many medicines and methods that can be used to control cancer pain. You should expect your health care team to work with you to keep you as comfortable as possible. But no one doctor can know everything about all medical problems, and sometimes pain is a subject they don’t know as much about. Even though a lot of progress has been made, some doctors and nurses do not know the best ways to treat cancer pain. Fatigue in people with cancer has many causes, but it can often be managed. Fatigue associated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy treatments is common, but it’s usually temporary.
Education and counseling can be important parts of helping you learn how to save energy, reduce stress, and distract yourself from the fatigue. Anemia is having a lower than normal number of red blood cells in your blood. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body. Not having enough of them can result in feeling weak, ? red, or short of breath. Depending on the cause of the anemia, trea? ng it may include things like ea? ng nutrient-rich foods; taking iron, vitamin B12, and/or folic acid supplements; delaying or changing cancer treatment; and stopping any bleeding.