Cancerand People’s Health: Breast Cancer
Cancerand People’s Health: Breast Cancer
Preventiveservices for patients at risk of breast cancer
Accordingto the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendationson breast cancer, women aged between 50 to 74 years should undergobiennial screening mammography. For women aged below 50 years, thetask force recommends that they should start regular, biennialscreening mammography before they attain the age of 50 years and sucha decision should be an individual one. Digital mammography iseffective in detecting some cases of cancer that cannot beestablished by film mammography (McGuire et al., 2015). Magneticresonance imaging uses enhanced MRI for breast cancer screening andis commonly used in very high-risk populations. MRI effectivelydetects more cases than mammography tests.
Factorsinfluencing decisions related to preventive services
Theknown genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 that cause breast cancer alsoknown as tumor suppressor genes are responsible for DNA repair,mutations, and the biggest cause of breast cancer. 16% of all breastcancers are because of these mutations, which occur in family DNA.These genes produce the protein that helps to keep the cells fromovergrowing (McGuire et al., 2015). Individuals with such defects intheir genes or who inherit such mutations have a high risk ofdeveloping breast cancer in their lifetime. Carriers of the twogenetic mutations aged below 75 have up to 57% chances of the risk todevelop breast cancer. The BRCA mutation carriers develop rapidlyduring the younger ages (USPSTF, 2013).
BothUSPSTF and AOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)agree that the age of 40 for women is the most reasonable time toundertake mammograms and this should be yearly between 40 and 54 andafter that, they can give 2 years between each screening. The risk offalse positives and overdiagnosis is a major issue especially forwomen entering menopause at 50 years. For women aged above 75, therisk of having breast cancer is highest. Young women have a higherrisk of contracting cancer caused by BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutationscompared to other age groups. Young women with such mutations intheir genes also have a high-risk rate of contracting other cancerssuch as ovarian cancer (USPSTF, 2013 (McGuire et al., 2015).
Drugtreatment options for patients diagnosed with breast cancer
Systematictherapy involves taking treatment by mouth or through the veintargeting the cancer cells in the body. The three main types of drugtreatment of breast cancer are chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, andtargeted therapy. Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to destroycancer cells. The drugs stop the cancer cells from growing. Specificdrugs are given to the patient repetitively over a given period overdifferent schedules. Hormonal therapy is a treatment that is givento patients with tumors that test positive for estrogen orprogesterone receptors. This involves an attempt to lock the hormonesto prevent cancer from spreading. Some of the drugs commonly used inhormonal therapy include tamoxifen, which blocks estrogen fromattaching to breast cancer cells, to lower risk of recurrence in thebreast that was infected. Aromatase inhibitors (Als) is also used todecrease estrogen tissue release (Andre & Zielinski, 2012).
Shorterside effects of many breast cancer chemotherapies include fatigue,high risk of infection, hair loss and lack of appetite. Tamoxifenmedications can cause hot flashes, virginal dryness and dischargesand in some cases bleeding (Andre & Zielinski, 2012).
Thereare a few long-term side effects such as heart damage, nerve damageand secondary cancers that may follow up. Tamoxifen improves bonehealth and cholesterol level. Aromatase inhibitors and all othertargeted therapy treatments over time stop the growth of cancers thatmay have grown to the bone to make the bone healthier (Shah, Tseng &Martinez, 2012).
Andre,F. & Zielinski, C.C. (2012). Optimal strategies for the treatmentof metastatic triple-negative breast cancer with currently approvedagents. OxfordJournals Medicine & Health Annals of OncologyVolume 23, Issue supply, 6(1), 46-51.
McGuire,A., et al. (2015). Effects of Age on the Detection and Management ofBreast Cancer. Cancers,7(2), 908–929. http://doi.org/10.3390/cancers7020815
Shah,D. R., Tseng, W. H., & Martinez, S. R. (2012). Treatment Optionsfor Metaplastic Breast Cancer. ISRNOncology,2012, 706162. http://doi.org/10.5402/2012/706162
USPSTF.(2013). ArchivedFinal Recommendation Statement Breast Cancer: Screening,November 2009. Retrieved 2 February 2016 fromhttp://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/RecommendationStatementFinal/breast-cancer-screening