Breast Cancer

Essay by SymoneJunior High, 9th grade July 2004

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How the disease affects the body:

Pain is not a symptom of early Breast Cancer. Although the Breast and nipple can be affected and be noticeable. There can be a lump, nipple discharge, dimpling or puckering of Breast tissue and scaling of nipple tissue. This is the only part of the body that is affected before treatment, but if Cancer spreads other parts of the body can be affected.

Breast Cancer can have a big affect on the body after treatment especially Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy. Radiotherapy can cause a person to feel sick, feeling really tired, have red, tanned or itchy skin, blocked ears, stomach aches or diarrhoea, weak bladder and having sexual or fertility problems. Chemotherapy also has many side affects that affect the body including nausea, vomiting, feeling tired, hair thinning or loss, menopause symptoms, weight gain or loss and have lot's of different emotional feelings. After Chemotherapy treatment you take a tablet called Tamoxifen for 2 to 4 years.

Tamoxifen can cause hot flushes/sweats, vaginal irritation and irregular menstrual periods.

How Common the disease is and the groups most affected by it:

Breast Cancer is quite common. About 1 in 14 Australian women develop it before the age of 75. Breast Cancer is most common in women of older age but is found in women of many different age groups. Between the ages 35-39, about 56 in 100,000 women will develop Breast Cancer. Between the ages of 45-49 about 163 women from 100,000 will get Breast Cancer, which goes up to 250 women at the ages 60-64 and 266 women at the age of 70-74.

The risk factors that increase a persons chance of developing the disease:

Scientists do not yet know or understand exactly what causes Breast Cancer. Studies show that the...