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Best Home Care Providers in Walnut Creek, CA : An Overview of Breast Cancer from Comfort Keepers

It's October - which means it's breast cancer awareness month. Read the following article from our best home care providers to get informed on how breast cancer could affect you or your senior loved one! 

Current statistics and its impact

Most of us are familiar with breast cancer and its significant impact to those around us. Recent data indicate that there are more than 3 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. This huge difference has been occasioned by the concerted efforts of various foundations and organizations in creating awareness on this menace, besides the use of more effective treatment modalities. The American Cancer Association has revealed that there has been a significant reduction in breast cancer-related deaths since 1989. Awareness and screening campaigns besides the development of effective chemotherapy have been hailed as most cases of breast cancers have been discovered in their earlier and tamable stages.

Although there has been a remarkable decline in breast cancer-related deaths, this cancer comes second as a major cause of mortality attributed to cancer in women. Emphasis has been put in awareness campaigns which champion for regular screening programs for timely detection of malignant growths. Comfort Keepers best home care providers knows that this applies especially to older women who are more vulnerable to getting breast cancer. Any suspected case of breast cancer should be treated with utmost care for better outcomes, particularly for women aged more than 65 years.

Breast cancer definition

An abnormal proliferation of cells is termed as cancer and in breast cancer; the breast tissue cells undergo these changes. Breast cancer is associated with growth of breast cells that is out of control due to mutations or modifications in the genes regulating normal growth and suppression of breast cells. This abnormal growth results in tumors, which could be malignant or benign; threatening and non-threatening tumors respectively, the former being associated with cancer. Our best home care providers hope that you will take note of the following risk factors to developing breast cancer:

  • Family history of breast or ovarian cancer in your first degree relatives
  • Advanced age
  • Possessing dense breast tissue
  • Frequent indulgence in alcohol consumption
  • Radiation therapy on your breast and chest regions
  • Use of progesterone or estrogen containing medications

Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer; there is an abnormal proliferation of cells lining the milk ducts draining to the nipple. The other popular type is lobular carcinoma which affects the lobules, the milk-producing regions of the breast tissue. Less common types of breast cancer include low-grade adenosquamous carcinoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma as well as medullary carcinoma. The characteristic feature of all these types is cancer progressing from a bad to worse state especially with the involvement of the lymph nodes.

Lymph nodes refer to a clump of cells which are located beneath the armpit, and they act as filters in the lymphatic system. Comfort Keeper Home Care appreciates that the involvement of lymph nodes is always associated with a poorer prognosis; survival rate in relation to the level of lymph nodes involved.

Early Detection and Treatment of Breast Cancer

Women can help in earlier detection of breast cancer by adopting self breast examination. Checking of the breast for any unusual lumps or masses is recommended. This can be coupled with regular visits to a health care provider for the breast examination. Notable symptoms and signs associated with breast cancer include pain in the breast and around the nipples, change in color or scaling of the breast skin, an abnormal nipple discharge and having an abnormal breast swelling.

Mammography should also be considered for the elderly women. Mammograms have been utilized as potent breast cancer screening tools and they involve the use of low-level X-rays to detect abnormal areas of opacifications in breast tissue. Mammograms could either be for screening purposes or for diagnostic reasons; the former is preferred in clients who have no symptoms while the latter is used to obtain refined details of the breast tissue.

While many people advocate for the use of mammograms in screening for breast cancer, the cost and benefit analysis when treatment is recommended, has been a question of debate especially for the elderly women. To clear the air, many opt to go with what the client prefers after this has been brought up.

Comfort Keepers Home Care advises for the consultation of relevant physicians for proper and informed care, they will assess the age-related factors that might have an effect on the success-rate of breast cancer treatment. The various options in treating breast cancer range broadly from the use of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, surgical resection to the use of hormone therapy for the hormone receptive tumors. Visit the BreastCancer.org for useful guides on the treatment options in breast cancer with respect to the type. You will also be exposed to some of the side effects of the various treatment modalities.

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