Cancer is considered to be one of the top five chronic illnesses that effect the north american population. For women especially breast cancer is of concern. Early symptoms of breast are usually found by women who feel a difference in their breast. Usually characterized by a lump on the breast that feels different than the rest of the tissues, and is some times is accompanied by inverted nipples, and/or difference in the texture of the skin. The best early detection of breast cancer comes from testing through a procedure called a mammogram.Because breast cancer has a highly genetic probability, it is recommended that those individuals considered to be ‘high risk’ get routine mammograms in order to achieve the best prognosis for this disease.
Depending on the time of diagnosis the prognosis for breast cancer can vary drastically. The Prognosis for breast cancer is much better in cases that are detected in the early stages, and especially if the breast is removed (Veronesi et al. 1985).Again, depending on the stage of the cancer that has been detected, there would be varying feelings about living with the disease. If it were something that was detected early and removed, I would probably have a constant worry about it returning and having a much harsher out come on my life.
If my breast removed I’m sure I would feel like less of a woman, and be very upset with my physical appearance. I would likely resort to options like reconstructive surgery in order to be more satisfied with my physical appearance.If the cancer was in a stage where I would need to under go chemotherapy, this would probably have the biggest change on my life. I would have to undergo constant treatment which would change my routine, and probably cause me to feel very ill and weak, and prevent me from enjoying life as a I know it now. I would be less energetic and unable to partake in a lot of the activities that I do now, like school, work, and sports. It doesn’t seem like cancer would be too evasive on my physical environment, and I don’t think much about it would have to change.However, my daily activities would take a drastic hit, especially if I were in the later stages of cancer and needed to undergo extensive chemotherapy. I would have to work my therapy into my daily routine and would probably be much too weak to do anything but focus on my survival.
The chemo would likely cause me to feel very sick, and it would take everything that I have to get out of bed and face my day (Tasmuthl, Von Smitten & Kalsol 1996) On that note, I wold require a lot support from my friends, family, and loved ones to help me get through the day.I would probably seek the aid of a professional psychologist to speak with to help me deal with the inevitable depression. I would hope that I would be as calm during this whole process as possible, but I’m sure that I would put a strain on the relationships that I have. If I was married, or in a committed relationship with someone, I would probably have a huge loss of sex drive, and depending on if my reconstructive surgery actually happened after my mastectomy I would probably feel much less attractive to whom ever that relationship was with.
ReferencesTasmuth, T. , Von Smitten, K. , & Kalso, E.
(1996). Pain and other symptoms during the first year after radical and conservative surgery for breast cancer. British Journal of Cancer. 74 2024-2031.
Veronesi, U. Et al. (1985). Prognosis of Breast Cancer patients after mastectomy and disection of internal mammary nodes. The National Cancer Institute.