A woman who has breast cancer is considered to have an abnormal condition in her breast. Cells divide 6-10% higher than the normal when a female has breast cancer. There are various types of cancer depending on which mammary cell that becomes cancer. The breast has three different parts in which cancer has a chance to affect, and these parts are lobules; ducts, and the connective tissue. The first part is lobules which is a mammary gland that produces milk. The second part is ducts that carry milk to the nipple. The last part is the connective tissue which sets and grips everything together. Early diagnosis of breast cancer is an essential part of any female's life, and it requires three steps: physical-breast examination, clinical exam, and mammogram (1)(2).
The first step of knowing if there are any symptoms of cancer is by physical-breast examination. This step must be done during each month. However, a female patient should not do have this step done during the days of menstruation. Because on this day, the body undergoes some changes such as change of hormones which may lead to having some itching and change in size becoming a bit different or bigger. Moreover, this stage of physical-breast examination can be divided into two steps. The initial step is observation. A patient should stand in front of the mirror, after or before taking a shower, and start looking at her breast to see if there is any abnormal symptoms such as redness, change in size, whether or not the nipple becames inverted, visible tumor, or color change. Next, after the patient observes her breast, she should start touching them to see if there is any thickness in the skin, or if she can see an invisible tumor. After that, and in case some symptoms were observed or experiences, the patient should go to the clinic to confirm her diagnosis (3).
The second step is going to the doctor to have a physical examination at the clinic. When the patient arrives at the clinic, she will be given a paper which has multiple questions. For example, how long has it been when started seeing or feeling these symptoms? Then the nurse will come to her to take her vitals, height and weight, and then go to the doctor's office. The doctor first sees the paper and what the nurse has reported. Then he/she will do the physical examination. After that, the doctor decides for the patient to do a mammogram.
The third step is the mammogram diagnosis. Mammogram is a type of X-ray used to detect if there is any tumor in the tissues of the breast. This diagnosis takes about half an hour done by the radiologist in the radiographic unit. radiologist will tell the patient to stand in front the machine of mammography and put her breast on a surface and press it with another plastic surface slowly. This step allows the radiologist to see all breast tissues and takes mammography in different positions. However, the result will appear after fourteen days (2)(4).
In conclusion, there are three essential steps for the diagnosis of breast cancer: physical-examination, clinical exam, and mammogram. The first step, the physical examination, includes two steps. The first one is observation of any changes in the breast. The second one is to touch the breast to feel the existence of any tumor there. The second step is going to be the clinic's check-up. The third step is the diagnostic mammography procedure. Finally, the result will appear after fourteen days. I recommend that all women to be careful and aware of breast cancer. Females should have a mammograph procedure every two years along with a monthly physical-examination.
- Cancer.org. (2018). What Is Breast Cancer?. [online] Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/about/what-is-breast-cancer.html [Accessed Sep. 2018].
- www.nationalbreastcancer.org. (2018). Breast Cancer Diagnosis :: The National Breast Cancer Foundation. [online] Available at: https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-diagnosis [Accessed 5 Oct. 2018].
- Symptoms and Diagnosis [Internet]. breastcancer.org. 2018 [cited 15 June 2018]. Available from: https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms
- Your Mammogram Appointment (BreastScreen NSW) [Internet]. Breastscreen.nsw.gov.au. 2018 [cited 12 October 2018]. Available from: https://www.breastscreen.nsw.gov.au/your-mammogram-appointment