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Research paper topic: Breast Cancer - 1668 words
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Breast Cancer annon In the United States in 1995 alone, 43,063 died from breast cancer. It is the number two cancer killer and the number one cancer in females ages 15 to 54. On average if a woman gets this disease, their life expectancy drops nineteen and a half years. This cancer is within the top three cancers of all woman above the age of 15, and comprises 6% of all health care costs in the U.S. totaling an astounding 35 billion dollars a year.
An average woman is said to have a one in thirty chance of getting the cancer, but if that person had family history of the disease, their chances have been measured up to a one in six chance. Sixtynine percent of AfricanAmerican women survive from it, and there are predicted to be nearly two million new cases reported this year in the U.S. The disease is breast cancer. Breast cancer is a group of rapidly reproducing, undifferentiated cells in the area of the breast in women. The earliest changes occur in the epithelial cells of the terminal end buds (TEB) of the breast milk ductal system.
While the outlining steps of breast cancer are unknown, the cells in the breast trigger a reaction of cell reproduction. These new cancer cells form tumors. If cancer cells are active or are considered malign, the tumor grows at tremendous speeds, and may end up in metastasis. Metastasis is a complex process in which cells break away from their primary tumors, and via the blood supply or through the lymph system relocate into other organs, thus spreading cancer throughout the body if left untreated. Generally, if a lump is smaller than one centimeter, it is considered benign, although every woman should consult her doctor about any unusual bumps or feeling in the chest. One sign of breast cancer results from ductal cancer in the breast. A once hollow open tube could be completely clogged up with cancerous cells thus leaving an awkward feeling in the chest area.
Other complications that result from this cancer and others is on top of the clogging and cramming of the system, the body's need to not only supply for itself, but for the large tumors. Recently genes have been touted as a great cause of cancer. It now is thought among the medical community that while there are definite environmental contributors to cancer, even those people who are exposed to few carcinogens may suffer from disease that runs in their families. Among the genes that is being heavily researched is the gene BRCA1. In one of the preliminary detections of this particular gene, over 250 Jewish women were discovered to have mutations with this germline allele, accounting for approximately 13% of all breast cancer patients observed. Jewish women in specific were used, as early on their was a definite pattern of breast cancer through the Jewish community especially that which lived in the United States. The specific mutation, 185delAG, was, 'strongly associated with the onset of breast cancer in Jewish women before the age of 30.' Scientists thrived upon this new information of genealogical interplay, so the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) set out determined to study the overall effects of these genes, not only along familial lines, but also concerning the general population.
In an article printed on January 18, 1996, germline alterations in BRCA1 were discovered in six of the 80 women surveyed with breast cancer but had no apparent familial history of it. Thus the scientists concluded that mutation was not limited to women with history of cancer. In an article printed in the Dallas Morning News, genes were sighted as a cause of five to twenty percent of all breast cancer. In that article, a gene known as p53 supposedly stalls reproduction, and can even cause a cell to 'commit suicide'. Other genes that seem to accelerate growth to overtake and stick to proteins includes HER2, neu, and erB2. 'Ten years from now, you won't go for a BRCA1 test,' said Dr. ShattuckEidens of Salt Lake city.
'You'll go for a breast cancer predisposition test.' relation between serum estrogen levels at a single time with links to breast cancer, but no evidence links estrogen levels over an extended time to the risk of breast cancer, until researchers at the New England Journal of Medicine proposed a study. Bone mass is a cumulative effect of estrogen on bones scientists say, and so the study focused on the more easily observed density and mass of bone tissue in women. Four levels were accounted for, and the research was tallied. The risk for getting cancer in the lowest stage of bone mass was about 2%, and then 2.6, 2.7, and 7.0 in the second, third, and fourth levels of higher mass respectively. This research lended itself to the assumption that cumulative exposure to estrogen may play part in breast cancer.
Other hormonal factors have been viewed as potential breastcancercausing agents. Birth control pills are thought by some to lead to breast cancer. Early birth control pills used much more estrogen and progesterone than today's pills, and therefore could cause cancer. Lots of contradictory results were found in research of the pill because women who have been taking it for ten or twenty years have actually been taking several different types of pills with different levels of cancer causing hormones. But, in general, the report concluded that the pill doubled to up to quadrupled the women's chance of having breast cancer. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) was used to increase fertility in 1940 through 1960 and also decrease the chances of having a miscarriage. Studies show it to increase the rate of breast cancer by 1.4. Exposure to estrogen during periods of rapid growth in the breast tissue during pregnancy may increase risk.
In August of 1989, Swedish doctor Leif Bergkvist studied 23244 women ages 35 and up and found that an estrogen supplement that they were taking quadrupled chances for breast cancer. Fats have been thought to increase the rate of breast cancer occurrence. But, in a study also conducted by the NEJM of 337,819 women no evidence was found to support the association of breast cancer with the intake of saturated, monosaturated, or polysaturated fats. Conversely, many studies have drawn out a link between fats and cancers. In the 1940's, Albert Tannenbaum gave rats high fat diets and found that it increased their rates of breast cancer by 27%. The fat threshold for rats is reiterated by many in the health field todayone needs a maximum of only 20% of overall calories from fat sources.
Epidemiology experiments are hard to perform on humans because it is extremely hard to control a human's whole life diet. Therefore, it is much easier to compare cultures of peoples which tend to determine the food intake of those people. In Iceland, the diet tends to be derived from healthy foods of the ocean, including lowfat fish and vegetables. But when researchers increased the amount of fat in their diets, their rate of breast cancer shot up, demonstrating its potential in the Iceland people. Breast cancer accounts for the highest number of new cases in women each year, and the war cry for breast cancer is, '1 in 8!' According to some statistics a woman's chance to develop breast cancer in her lifetime is one out of eight. The Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, New Hampshire reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in May of 1995 that women overestimated their chances for dying from breast cancer by twenty times.
While that journal reported in 1995 that the chances of getting breast cancer were only 1 in 17 before the age of 65, but italso said that breast cancer moved up 30% in the last twentyfive years. Although breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, over 80% of cancer occurs in postmenopausal women. While epidemiologist know that breast cancer often comes with age and genes, now speculation is arising that the earlier a woman has her menstrual periods, andInstitute's environmental studies division says the problem is that one half of women have environmental risk factors, and often the disease is perceived as a white woman's disease. Such white culture icons as Nancy Reagan, Shirley Temple Black, Linda Ellerbee, Ann Jillian and Betty Ford have had breast cancer. Cancer statistics show that the disease is especially prevalent in uneducated blacks who don't bother with or don't know about regular breast exams.
Dr. Bill Eley of Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University says it's economic, and that blacks are unproportionately poor. Japanese women have a one sixth mortality rate when compared to American women. But, when Japanese women move to the United States, their breast cancer rates gradually move up as their bodies' respond to the new environment. Even so, the myth of it being a whiteonly disease still lives on as told by Susan Shinagawa.
'I was told by all the doctors and nurses and every health care provider that I saw that, number one, I was too young to have breast cancer, and number two, that Asian women do not get breast cancer.' A number of doctors simply take the common sense approach to preventing against breast cancerexercising and getting your proper nutrients is the best precaution. The New York Times reported in May of 1997 a study that was done on 25,000 women in Norway. Compared with sedentary women, those who exercised at least four hours a week had a 37% lower risk of developing breast cancer. One leading hypothesis on how exercise fights cancer is brought by Dr. Leslie Bernstein, a professor of preventative medicine at the University of Southern California.
Dr. Bernstein says that exercising reduces a woman's exposure to estrogen, reducing that possible oncogen. Also, vitamins and minerals including A, C, and E help to fight cancer says F. de Ward, a cancer researcher. He claims that the problem might not just lie in fat, but overall nutrition. Several 'miracle foods' have been tried and marketed as cancer fighting agents. One such food is the green tea leaf.
Hasan Muktar of Case Western University in ...
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