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Breast cancer

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Causes of Breast Cancer
Our cells contain DNA that makes up our genes. The genes regulate and control the growth of our cells and cell division. Genes that increases the rate of cell division are known as oncogenes while those that slow down cell division and cause body cells to die are known as a tumor suppressor. Gene mutation in our DNA turns off tumor suppressor or turn on oncogenes genes that may lead to normal breast cells becoming cancerous as Korean breast cancer department data of 2004 using Breast Cancer Registration Program.
A. Inherited gene mutation
Hunt expresses concern that breast cancer can develop because of changes that occur in one’s DNA. The changes may occur in a person’s life or may be inherited from the biological lineage. Gene mutation may occur as s result of environmental exposures like a smoking cigarette, damage from UV light and other unknown reasons. DNA mutations can dramatically raise the chances of developing breast cancer and responsible for several cases of breast cancer that are present in some families (Micha n.p.).
Take an example of BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are tumor suppressors. The gene mutation from these suppressors may be inherited from a parent. Mutations of one of these genes do not suppress any abnormal growth of cells hence breast cancer is likely to arise (Nationwide Korean Breast Cancer n.p.).
Genetic testing may notice women who have inherited gene mutation in the tumor suppressor gene.

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Women can, therefore, take the initiative to reduce their chances of developing cancers by monitoring carefully changes in their breasts to identify it early when it can be treated easily. Gene mutation is considered ‘high penetrance’ since they often lead to cancer. Even though several women having cases of high penetrance mutation suffer from cancer, the majority cases of breast cancer do not arise from this type of mutation. Most of the time gene variation or mutation of law penetrance are major factors as far as cancer development is concerned.
Gene variation and low penetrance may have an individual effect on the development of cancer, but the overall effect on women population may be significant since they are common. Also, people are affected more often with at least more than one at a time as explained by Hunt. The mutated genes in the body cells may interfere with things like metabolism, hormone levels or other things that have direct interaction with risk factors responsible for breast cancer. Inherited gene mutation may be responsible for a lot of cases of breast cancer that cause pain and suffering in our families.
B. Acquired gene mutation
Most breast cancer-related gene mutations happen in single breast cells in the course of a woman’s life as opposed to being inherited. The inherited mutations of tumor suppressor genes or oncogenes may arise from other factors such as radiation and other cancer chemicals that cause cancer. Causes of the majority of acquired mutations that may result in breast cancer are still unclear.
Most cancers of breast consist of various acquired gene mutations. Doctors may accurately predict the outlook of some people who are having breast cancer through testing to sport any changes of acquired genes. For instance, the test can point out women whose cells attributed to breast cancer have several copies of HER2 oncogenes. Research on cancer has lead to the development of drugs that target specifically these diseases and improve results for patients and victims of breast cancer (Nationwide Korean Breast Cancer n.p.).
Effects of breast cancer
The fact that physical side effects, as well as the subsequent treatment of breast cancer, can be very challenging for women, the disease also subject women to psychological effects such as depression as well as anxiety. A site known as Breastcanser.org, an international non-profit site suggests that “pain is both physical as well as emotional.” Many women remain in emotional turmoil from consequences of the diagnosis of cancer.
A. Psychological effects
1. Depression
Breast cancer diagnosis is associated with depression, feeling of hopelessness and sadness. “The psychological effects can persist throughout,” reported by America Cancer Institute. Effects of depression disrupt the one’s everyday activities affecting the quality of life for patients with cancer interfering with their relationship as well as their relaxation ability. Psychotherapy and counseling can help patients going through cancer treatment by offering a conducive environment for them to express negative feelings as well as to learn skills on coping to help them develop a sense of well-being (Micha n.p). Counseling will assist them to improve the quality of life. There is scientifically proven evidence that any form of psychotherapy can assist in improving the survival rates of breast cancer.
Being a victim of cancer will make you to possibly they feel better and make good use of their time. Breast cancer may lead to the removal of mammary glands completely to remove the cancer cells from multiplying further. The removal of breasts leaves a woman with only one breast or even with no breast in case cancer has spread to both breasts. The experience leads to depression specifically to women who pay a lot more attention to how they look.
1. Anxiety
“After receiving a diagnosis of the disease, many women feel worried and anxious,” reported by The American Psychological Association. Many women get shocked the moment they receive the news about the disease despite the fact that many are prepared for it due to high-risk factors. They become anxious concerning treatment as well as how it will affect them and eventually they will die. Consequently, relationships become get strained as a result of anxiety interference (Nationwide Korean Breast Cancer n.p.).
Employers, friends, and relatives can the victim differently hence increasing the anxiety further. A study shows that most often women react to shock differently by eating poorly, withdrawing and refusing to exercise. Anxiety may end up interrupting their sleep and developing other unhealthy habits such as drinking, smoking, and drug abuse. Women experiencing symptoms of anxiety can get counseling from a counselor or a psychologist trained and specialized in treating patients with cancer. They can learn how to communicate their distress effectively to family and friends, better coping skills and to build a positive outlook that can finally help in their recovery.
A. Physical effects
1. Tiredness
Tiredness may result from undergoing chemotherapy, the pain of cancer, radiation and surgery. As much as individuals experience pain at different stages, a majority of women with cancer feel some great measure of pain when they are undergoing treatment of breast cancer. Chemotherapy is attributed to fatigue and tiredness, and nervous exhaustion may result to serious other emotional effects in case they are not properly managed. The brain is an organ that consumes a lot of energy when subjected to anxiety as well as stress. The loss of energy is associated with the fact that a lot of energy consumed by the brain.
The techniques of copying that can enable one to relieve tiredness includes talking to a specialist and obtaining medication to relieve one from anxiety and depression that results in exhaustion. Taking part in uplifting activities like cancer support groups or church support groups and seeking help from friends and family also plays an important role in dealing with tiredness.
2. Loss of hair
You might not care about losing the hair until you lose it. If you are diagnosed with cancer, then the chances of losing hair are very high. Undergo chemotherapy resulting in hair loss that can either be dramatic or gradual. Your hair follicle undergoes cell division every twenty-three to seventy-two hours (Hunt 8-15).
Hair loss is one of the causes of breast cancer. It occurs as a result of chemotherapy targeting all actively diving cells, cancer cells as well as healthy cells. Hair loss associated with breast cancer is depressing and startling hence one will require a lot of emotional as well as financial support during the process of undergoing chemotherapy. The extent to which one loses hair depends on drugs as well as the treatments used. The regular intervals of the time of treatments also play a great role in hair loss. Some treatments are scheduled at more regular intervals. The shorter the period in between, the more a person is likely to experience extensive hair loss.
Chemotherapy may result in hair loss not only the hair on the head but also to the rest of the body. At times, breast cancer leads to the falling of your eyelash, armpit, eyebrow as well as public hair. Hair lose normally starts by falling out 2 to 3 weeks upon commencement of treatment. You are likely to experience a lot of hair on your pillow, in your comb or your hairbrush. Each time the patient have a glance of oneself through the mirror, your changed look will remind you of everything you have undergone including the treatment as well as the pain.
However, it may last for a couple of weeks for your hair to get back to normal upon undergoing treatment. Your hair will appear slightly different once it starts growing again, but the disparity is normally temporary. Micha (105) is concerned that there may be some difference in the color and texture. It may curl to a greater extent compared to the time before. It may appear gray until the cell responsible for the pigment in your hair begins to work again. Currently, there are no treatments available that may guarantee your hair not to disappear during breast cancer treatment. The best way to handle hair loss is to prepare psychologically to the fact that you will lose hair as well as to accept your condition before treatment and after treatment. In spite several tests have been done to investigate possible ways of eradicating hair loss, non has been discovered to be effective.
Treatment of Breast Cancer
1. Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a term used to refer to the use of antibiotics, chemicals or other medications to fight any infections or illness. For this paper, we will focus on chemotherapy on breast cancer. The specialist uses chemotherapy bearing in mind five possible goals.
The first goal is to achieve a total remission. It involves aiming to cure completely the patient of cancerous cells. It, therefore, implies that this treatment may sometimes drive out cancer completely.
The second aim is to achieve combination therapy. The third aim is to prevent or delay reoccurrence. Researchers at Charite school, Germany discovered that using gemcitabine drug for chemotherapy delays the reoccurrence of cancer cells to a greater extent as compared to when chemotherapy is not used as per Korean breast cancer department data of 2004 using Breast Cancer Registration Program.
The fourth aim is to slow down the progression of cancer. Chemotherapy is sometimes used when it has moved to a greater stage, and complete treatment is unlikely. Chemotherapy will, therefore, slow down the advancement of cancerous cells in the body of the patient. Lastly, it can be used with the aim of relieving its symptoms when the disease is in its advanced stage. When cells of our body die or get damaged, our bodies give rise to new cells to replace them. This process takes place in a balanced and an orderly manner.
Cancer cells, on the contrary, lack this order, and their division and growth is always out of control. Numerous more cancer cells arise and begin to grab more space and finally displace the useful cells in our bodies. Drugs for chemotherapy attempts to discredit the ability of cancer cells to undergo division and reproduction. The drugs may be injected in the blood to fight cells attributed to cancer in the entire human body. They can also be channeled directly particular cancer sites. In the case of breast cancer, they may be channeled to the breast to attack the cancer cells at those sites (Hunt 4-12).
Chemotherapy can be administered in a different stage. The first stage is the Neo-adjuvant therapy where the specialist may want to the tumor before the process of surgery in case it has grown to a larger size. The second stage is the chemo radiation therapy. It is where radiotherapy is given together with chemotherapy for cases like when the tumor is based right on your diaphragm. There is also adjuvant therapy where it is administered after surgery. Using this procedure minimizes the risk of death by approximately 30% that may arise from operable pancreatic cancer.
2. Treatment of Breast Cancer
Chemotherapy drugs function in various ways. It prevents further cell division by impairing mitosis. The drug for this purpose is known as cytotoxic drugs. It also targets the source food, enzymes as well as hormones cancer cells require to grow. It can also stop the growth of blood vessels responsible for supplying the tumor. Finally, chemotherapy can also be used to trigger suicide of cancerous cells. The procedure is called apoptosis. Patients of breast cancer may receive monotherapy of combination therapy. Monotherapy is the case where the patient obtains just one drug for chemotherapy. On the other hand, combination therapy is the case where cancer patient obtains more than one drug for cancer treatment.
It is always advisable to perform a blood test to study the health of the victim to make sure she will cope with the likely side effects. For instance, testing blood may detect problems associated with the liver that render chemotherapy unfit for the patient. Chemicals for this procedure are broken down within the liver. Failure to break down these chemicals may be very harmful to the patient. It is also very advisable to test the blood count of the patient before treatment because the process will minimize the number of white blood cells, platelets as well as red blood cells.
Treatment of breast cancer involves two ways. There is the oral chemotherapy and intravenous chemotherapy. Oral chemotherapy involves swallowing tablets. If the patient’s health can accommodate it, she may as well take them home with her. The patient should take notice that the tablets should be taken exactly as prescribed. Failure to observe the prescription, the patient should call for medical attention as soon as possible. Intravenous chemotherapy, on the other hand, involves injecting the patient directly into a vein, a pump, intravenous infusion or through a pump the patient puts on for several months or weeks as pointed out by (Hunt 23-34)
Conclusion
Breast cancer is real, and it is with us. It causes a lot of pain to our families and friends who are victims. We have therefore do whatever we can do in our capacity to prevent the disease or manage it at an early stage. Women are the majority that suffers from breast cancer hence they should have regular tests to treat the disease at early stage. Women currently suffering from this disease should also live positively and manage it appropriately.

Works Cited
‘Nationwide Korean Breast Cancer Data of 2004 using breast Cancer Registration Program.’ J Breast Cancer 9.2 (2006): 151. Web, 28 November, 2015
Hunt, Kelly K. Breast Cancer. New York: Springer, 2008. Print.
Wicha, Max. ‘Cancer Stem Cell Heterogeneity In Hereditary Breast Cancer’. Breast Cancer Research 10.2 (2008): 105. Web.

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