Breast Cancer Diagnosis – Cancer Example

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"Breast Cancer Diagnosis" is a decent example of a paper on cancer. This paper will discuss a 28-year-old female who complains of right breast tenderness for the last one week. According to the patient, this happens before her menstrual cycle. However, the physical assessment reveals that there is a non-tender, fixed solitary nodule, approximately half a centimeter. The essay will indicate the diagnosis for this particular patient and the interventions that will be employed. Moreover, the pathophysiology of cyclic bilateral breast edema and breast cancer will be explained in terms that the patient can comprehend. In regard to the symptoms presented, the patient is ailing from breast cancer and cyclic bilateral breast edema.

The patient suffers from cyclic bilateral breast edema. It is not a fibrocystic breast condition because the patient does experience any pain. This condition mainly occurs during the menstrual cycle and is caused by hormonal fluctuations. The monthly difference in the flow of progesterone and estrogen levels is the reason for the disorder.   It is suggested that the excess of estrogen over progesterone culminate in edema of the breast flesh.

The hormonal levels minimize at the beginning of menses that makes the fluid accountable for breast edema is eliminated by the lymphatic process. In some situations, the fluid is not completely removed creating room for cyst development. This is caused by the collection of fluid in the breast ducts (Sommers, 2010). The hormonal changes that trigger tenderness, premenstrual pain, and expanding the flesh density starts when a woman is between twenty and thirty years. In this case, the patient should not worry because the signs will disappear once the menses are complete.

However, one ought to carry out further assessments if the patient is feeling other symptoms such as pain or is incapable of carrying out normal activities (Wilson & Giddens, 2012). In regard to cancer, the presence of a non-tender, fixed solitary nodule, approximately half a centimeter is serious and needs further investigation. The pathology of the breast mass is determined by the age of the patient because breast cancer occurs with age. Breast cancer is common in people over the age of 65 years. In pathology, diagnosis involves histopathological or cytological detection.

To identify the nature of the breast mass, it is important to use a fine needle aspiration cytology. This method is very accurate in detecting 93% of cancers due to its specificity and comprehensive sensitivity (Jatoi & Kaufmann, 2010). The fine needle procedure is performed using a 23 gauge blue needle and heparin flushed 5-10 mL syringe put into the breast mass. Between 12 – 20 passages through the breast mass with tiny suction, tiny size of tissue is aspirated into the hollow needle which is spread on a slide.

Through staining the cytologist determines if there are any cancerous cells in the aspirate within 10-15 minutes (p. 115). The common treatment form in cancer is radiotherapy. Successive radiotherapy and suitable systematic therapy increase the rate of local reaction. The purpose of the systematic treatment in breast cancer is to minimize the mass and make it easy to operate, therefore, increasing life span and enhance local control (Dixon, 2012).   It is not a must that the breast mass should undergo surgery as a way of intervention.

Therefore, the patient is educated on the best option and recommendation to treat the breast mass (Dirbas & Scott-Conner, 2011). In conclusion, cancer treatment may take any of the three systematic treatments for advanced breast cancer. The three treatments consist of hormonal treatment, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy. The choice of an appropriate treatment is determined by various factors. The factors include the stage of the illness, the estrogen receptor (positive or negative cancer), the age, and the type of cancer (inflammatory cancer). Additionally, cyclic bilateral breast edema clears away once the menstrual monthly period's end.


Dixon, J. M. (2012). ABC of breast diseases. Chichester, West Sussex: Blackwell Pub.

Dirbas, F., & Scott-Conner, C. (2011). Breast surgical techniques and interdisciplinary management. New York, NY: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Jatoi, I., & Kaufmann, M. (2010). Management of breast diseases. Heidelberg: Springer.

Sommers, M. S. (2010). Diseases and Disorders: A Nursing Therapeutics Manual. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Co.

Wilson, S. F., & Giddens, J. F. (2012). Health Assessment for Nursing Practice-Pageburst E-Book on VitalSource5: Health Assessment for Nursing Practice-Pageburst E-Book on VitalSource. Elsevier Health Sciences.

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