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Breast Cancer Essay Research Paper Genetic Testing

Breast Cancer Essay, Research Paper Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer Breast Cancer touches each of our lives in someway. Almost everyone knows somebody who has been touched by it, and many of us live in fear of what it will do to us personally. Breast cancer has been around ever since I can remember; it has affected my grandmother and my mother.

Breast Cancer Essay, Research Paper

Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer touches each of our lives in someway. Almost everyone knows somebody who has been touched by it, and many of us live in fear of what it will do to us personally. Breast cancer has been around ever since I can remember; it has affected my grandmother and my mother. Unfortunately my mother was not able to fight this terrible disease and died when I was only sixteen. These were very hard times for me, and ever since then, my life has never been the same. I never knew how painful this disease could be for the individual as well as for the family, by bringing suffering and opening wounds that never heal. According to the National Women Health Information Center, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in American women today. The Health Technology Advisory Committee, estimates that there will be about 175,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer this year among women in the United States and there will be an average of 43,300 women dying from this disease annually. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women, with approximately one in nine women developing the disease in her lifetime (National Cancer society.) Although breast cancer is known to affect women, it also can be equally devastating to men. Male breast cancer accounts for one percent of all diagnosed cancer.

Breast Cancer is disease in which cancerous cells are found in the tissues of the breast. These cancerous cells continue to grow and eventually form into lumps known as a tumor. A tumor is a mass of new tissue growth that is unresponsive to normal controls of the organization influence of adjacent tissues; has no useful physiological function (Lexicon Universal Encyclopedia 19:330). The are two kind of tumors found in a women breast; a benign and a malignant tumor. A benign tumor generally grows slowly and does not spread to any part of the body. On the other hand, a malignant tumor is very dangerous. This tumor kills unless treated, because of its invasive and metastatic characteristics.

Every woman is at risk of obtaining Breast Cancer, however, some are at higher risk than others. Simply being a woman is the main risk factor for developing breast cancer. Breast cancer can affect men, but this disease is about one hundred times more common among women. A women?s risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. About seventy-seven percent of women with breast cancer are over age fifty at the time of diagnosis. Women aged between twenty and thirty-nine account for only zero three percent of breast cancer cases (TNCI). A chart from the National Cancer Institute illustrated that a woman by that age of thirty is one out of two thousand five hundred and twenty at risk of obtaining breast cancer. The chart also illustrated that a woman by the age of eight her risks of obtaining breast cancer increase by one out of ten. Research has showed that those women, who have a personal history of breast cancer, are five to six times at greater risk of getting the disease than those who don?t have a personal history (Hirshuat 67). Women who got their menstruation before the age of twelve are also at higher risk of developing cancer than those who got their menstruation after the age of fifteen. Louise Brinton, Ph.D., chief of the Environmental Studies Section at the National Cancer Institute stated that, ?Many girls who get their periods at an early age tend to be obese, which is a separate risk factor later in life.?(qtd. Women Weigh the Pros and Cons of Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer). The average age of menopause in the United States is about fifty-five. Women who enter menopause after the average age are at twice the risk of developing breast cancer then women who enter menopause before ago of fifty-five. Never having a child or having the first child after age of thirty-five would also increase their risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers from the National Cancer Society have stated that the use of alcohol is clearly proven to increasing risk of developing breast cancer. Compared with nondrinkers, women who consume one alcoholic beverage a day have a very small increase in risk. Those who have two to five drinks daily are about one and a half times higher in risk than women who do not drink alcohol.

There are many ways to detect breast cancer. The earliest breast cancers found the better the chances for successful treatment. Every woman should follow these guidelines whether they have a family history of breast cancer or not. Mammography is an x-ray of the breast. This is used to find the disease in women who have symptoms or do not have any breast problems. Every woman who falls between the ages of forty and ninety should take this test annually. The mammogram should cost between twenty-five dollars and two hundred and twenty-five dollars, there are various organizations and women support groups across the country who provide referrals to low-cost or free mammography services. Clinical Breast Examinations is another way to detect breast cancer. In this exam, the health professional examines the women?s breast for any changes in shape or size and then gently fells the breast. This exam should be practiced every three years for women who are in the ages between twenty and thirty-nine. Another easy and inexpensive way to detect breast cancer is by doing the breast self-examination (Library General Health Encyclopedia). BSE consist of examining the breast every month or a week after every menstruation period. All this methods are useful for detecting breast cancer before it becomes a tumor. Breakthrough in genetic research have identified two genes which will bring hope to many women by bringing them results of life saving, early detection and treatment. However, this test has risks and benefits.

The idea that genes play a role in ones risk of obtaining breast cancer is terrifying. However, in fact, genetics is one of the most exciting and advanced areas of research in breast cancer today. This recent discovery brings hope to many women. Approximately 5-10% of breast cancer cases are caused by a known inherited genetic change (Breast Cancer Genes: The BRCA1 and BRCA2). The first gene to be identified was the BRCA1, Breast Cancer Gene 1. BRCA1 was discovered in 1994 after 4 years of research by a team lead by Dr. Mark Skolnick, Ph.D., a genetics and professor of the University of Utah Medical Center and Dr. Roger Wiseman of NIH (Benjamin). The gene is located in the long arm of the chromosome 17, one of the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes found in the human cells (BRCA1 Sequence Analysis). Sean V. Tavtigian stated in the article BRCA 1 genes and its Protein Products, that any women who has a family history of breast cancer, has a fifty-fifty chance of inheriting a flowed copy from either parent ?(qdt. BRCA1 Gena 18). Dr. Mark Skolnick noted that the gene ?BRCA 1 is over ten times larger than the average gene and could be prone to many types of mutation along its? span? (qtd. in Baron-Faust 10). A woman who inherits a defective copy of BRCA 1 from her mother or father also has a normal copy of the BRCA1 on most of the cases. As long as one normal copy is present, her breast cancer cells function normally. However, at some time during her life, she is very likely to suffer a mutation to the remaining normal gene copy in one or more breast cells. The rate for these cells to develop into breast cancer is extremely high. According to the Policy Statement of Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer, as many as ninety percent of these women will develop it than a women with ?normal? genes.

A second important gene influencing breast cancer today is BRCA2, breast cancer gene 2. This gene was identified in 1995 by Dr. Douglas Easton of London?s Institute of Cancer Research (Benjamin). The gene is located in the long arm of chromosome thirteen. Another major genetic flaw associated with BRAC2 a tumor suppressor gene called p53 located on the short arm of chromosome seventeen (Baron-Faust 58). The ?P? is used as an abbreviation for saying that is in the smallest part of the chromosome seventeen. Another problems in the gene p53 will interfere with the production of a protein is what keeps that cells growth under control. Defects in p53 are believed to be among the most common genetic defect in breast cancer. A person can be born with a defective gene or the gene can become damaged thought the individuals life. Almost fifty percent of all humans? cancer cells contain a p53 mutation. An inborn defect in the p53 gene occurs in families with the rare disorder called ?Li-Fraumen-Syndrom?, which causes an inherited susceptibility of early cancers, including breast cancer (Benjamin). Since p53 is so important for normal cell growth in human researchers are continuing to look for ways to diagnose, prevent and treat cancer associated with p53 (American Cancer Society). It is know that BRCA1 and BRCA2 are tumor suppressor genes, which function to prevent stage of tumor development. Mutations in these genes only appear in a few inherited tumors, and are rarely in cancers or in normal tissues.

The test called ?bracanalysis?, can detect those genetic flaws in a women with a strong family history of breast cancer. The test consists of a single blood test. This test does not diagnose cancer nor will it predict if or when cancer will develop. The bracanalysis looks for a specific mutation on the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. Women with a family history of breast cancer are more likely to seek genetic testing if they believe in the benefits. ?The test cost between four hundred dollars and two thousand four hundred dollars depending on the type of test needed, and takes about a week to obtain the results? (Policy Statement of Genetic Testing of Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer in Women). Everyone is eligible to take the bracanalysis test, however, some should take it in account more that others. According to the National Cancer Society any women who fall into any of this categories should take in account of taking the test.

*Any women who has a personal history of breast cancer.

*Any women who have/had two or more close relatives with breast cancer.

*Any women who have/had a relative with breast cancer at an early age.

*Any women who have/had a relative with bilateral (both sides) breast cancer

*Any women who has a pattern of breast cancer in more than one generation of their family.

Any woman who takes the test will be faced with plenty of risks. Marin Penalist and oncologist and a breast specialist said, ?If you have the test done it comes up with a positive, it becomes a disaster?you?ll never get medical insurance again.? (qtd. in Jacobson). There are chances that after taking the test the women may suffer discrimination, from insures, such as health, life, and disability and from employers. A woman may also suffer from psychological distress. Mildred Cho, Ph.D., assistant professor at Penn?s center for bioethics, said that ?one of the reasons for this limited amount of information?? ?is the difficulty of getting data about the performance of the test detect late-onset conditions? (qtd in Randolph 2). Another thing Cho stated was that for this test to come out accurate there will have to be a lot of time and research invested, and the development of this test has not been around for that long. One of the Major risk a women?s taking is that is the results come out positive she will have to live with this for the rest of her life.

Taking this test will also supply that person with benefits. The woman has the chance of finding out if she will develop breast cancer or not (kelly 4). For example, if a woman has a family history of breast cancer the most appropriate thing to do from stopping cancer to harm her is by removing both breasts. Now with the bacanalysis test the women have a chance to know if she should remove her breast or not. The Cancer risk and Assessment and Counseling Report stated that three hundred and twenty four women who had family history of breast cancer decided to remove their breasts and only twenty-five developed breast cancer. At least forty and as one hundred breast cancer would have been expected. Any women who takes the test and gets positive will be obligated to attend counseling for at least six months or one year. Counseling that outlines the benefits of genetic testing for breast cancer may be an important tool for preventing the disease (kelly 2). Even in the absence of genetic testing cancer risk and assessment is recommended for individuals with a family history of cancer. Cancer risk counseling includes:

?Obtaining detailed family, medical, and life styles

?Documenting cancer- related diagnoses

?Constructing and analyzing family history

?Providing risk assessment and counseling

?Discussing options for early detection and prevention

?Discussing risk and benefits of gene testing

Today there is no cure for breast cancer, but the ability to do the right procedure will minimize the threats breast cancer had upon women. Today there are plenty of places a woman could seek help and treatment. There are not any reasons why the breast cancer should not be detected early. If every women follows up the procedure of BSE , takes the mammography annually and takes in account that breast cancer is a very serious disease, breast cancer would not have such a strong influence among American women today

Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer touches each of our lives in someway. Almost everyone knows somebody who has been touched by it, and many of us live in fear of what it will do to us personally. Breast cancer has been around ever since I can remember; it has affected my grandmother and my mother. Unfortunately my mother was not able to fight this terrible disease and died when I was only sixteen. These were very hard times for me, and ever since then, my life has never been the same. I never knew how painful this disease could be for the individual as well as for the family, by bringing suffering and opening wounds that never heal. According to the National Women Health Information Center, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in American women today. The Health Technology Advisory Committee, estimates that there will be about 175,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer this year among women in the United States and there will be an average of 43,300 women dying from this disease annually. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women, with approximately one in nine women developing the disease in her lifetime (National Cancer society.) Although breast cancer is known to affect women, it also can be equally devastating to men. Male breast cancer accounts for one percent of all diagnosed cancer.

Breast Cancer is disease in which cancerous cells are found in the tissues of the breast. These cancerous cells continue to grow and eventually form into lumps known as a tumor. A tumor is a mass of new tissue growth that is unresponsive to normal controls of the organization influence of adjacent tissues; has no useful physiological function (Lexicon Universal Encyclopedia 19:330). The are two kind of tumors found in a women breast; a benign and a malignant tumor. A benign tumor generally grows slowly and does not spread to any part of the body. On the other hand, a malignant tumor is very dangerous. This tumor kills unless treated, because of its invasive and metastatic characteristics.

Every woman is at risk of obtaining Breast Cancer, however, some are at higher risk than others. Simply being a woman is the main risk factor for developing breast cancer. Breast cancer can affect men, but this disease is about one hundred times more common among women. A women?s risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. About seventy-seven percent of women with breast cancer are over age fifty at the time of diagnosis. Women aged between twenty and thirty-nine account for only zero three percent of breast cancer cases (TNCI). A chart from the National Cancer Institute illustrated that a woman by that age of thirty is one out of two thousand five hundred and twenty at risk of obtaining breast cancer. The chart also illustrated that a woman by the age of eight her risks of obtaining breast cancer increase by one out of ten. Research has showed that those women, who have a personal history of breast cancer, are five to six times at greater risk of getting the disease than those who don?t have a personal history (Hirshuat 67). Women who got their menstruation before the age of twelve are also at higher risk of developing cancer than those who got their menstruation after the age of fifteen. Louise Brinton, Ph.D., chief of the Environmental Studies Section at the National Cancer Institute stated that, ?Many girls who get their periods at an early age tend to be obese, which is a separate risk factor later in life.?(qtd. Women Weigh the Pros and Cons of Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer). The average age of menopause in the United States is about fifty-five. Women who enter menopause after the average age are at twice the risk of developing breast cancer then women who enter menopause before ago of fifty-five. Never having a child or having the first child after age of thirty-five would also increase their risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers from the National Cancer Society have stated that the use of alcohol is clearly proven to increasing risk of developing breast cancer. Compared with nondrinkers, women who consume one alcoholic beverage a day have a very small increase in risk. Those who have two to five drinks daily are about one and a half times higher in risk than women who do not drink alcohol.

There are many ways to detect breast cancer. The earliest breast cancers found the better the chances for successful treatment. Every woman should follow these guidelines whether they have a family history of breast cancer or not. Mammography is an x-ray of the breast. This is used to find the disease in women who have symptoms or do not have any breast problems. Every woman who falls between the ages of forty and ninety should take this test annually. The mammogram should cost between twenty-five dollars and two hundred and twenty-five dollars, there are various organizations and women support groups across the country who provide referrals to low-cost or free mammography services. Clinical Breast Examinations is another way to detect breast cancer. In this exam, the health professional examines the women?s breast for any changes in shape or size and then gently fells the breast. This exam should be practiced every three years for women who are in the ages between twenty and thirty-nine. Another easy and inexpensive way to detect breast cancer is by doing the breast self-examination (Library General Health Encyclopedia). BSE consist of examining the breast every month or a week after every menstruation period. All this methods are useful for detecting breast cancer before it becomes a tumor. Breakthrough in genetic research have identified two genes which will bring hope to many women by bringing them results of life saving, early detection and treatment. However, this test has risks and benefits.

The idea that genes play a role in ones risk of obtaining breast cancer is terrifying. However, in fact, genetics is one of the most exciting and advanced areas of research in breast cancer today. This recent discovery brings hope to many women. Approximately 5-10% of breast cancer cases are caused by a known inherited genetic change (Breast Cancer Genes: The BRCA1 and BRCA2). The first gene to be identified was the BRCA1, Breast Cancer Gene 1. BRCA1 was discovered in 1994 after 4 years of research by a team lead by Dr. Mark Skolnick, Ph.D., a genetics and professor of the University of Utah Medical Center and Dr. Roger Wiseman of NIH (Benjamin). The gene is located in the long arm of the chromosome 17, one of the twenty-three pairs of chromosomes found in the human cells (BRCA1 Sequence Analysis). Sean V. Tavtigian stated in the article BRCA 1 genes and its Protein Products, that any women who has a family history of breast cancer, has a fifty-fifty chance of inheriting a flowed copy from either parent ?(qdt. BRCA1 Gena 18). Dr. Mark Skolnick noted that the gene ?BRCA 1 is over ten times larger than the average gene and could be prone to many types of mutation along its? span? (qtd. in Baron-Faust 10). A woman who inherits a defective copy of BRCA 1 from her mother or father also has a normal copy of the BRCA1 on most of the cases. As long as one normal copy is present, her breast cancer cells function normally. However, at some time during her life, she is very likely to suffer a mutation to the remaining normal gene copy in one or more breast cells. The rate for these cells to develop into breast cancer is extremely high. According to the Policy Statement of Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer, as many as ninety percent of these women will develop it than a women with ?normal? genes.

A second important gene influencing breast cancer today is BRCA2, breast cancer gene 2. This gene was identified in 1995 by Dr. Douglas Easton of London?s Institute of Cancer Research (Benjamin). The gene is located in the long arm of chromosome thirteen. Another major genetic flaw associated with BRAC2 a tumor suppressor gene called p53 located on the short arm of chromosome seventeen (Baron-Faust 58). The ?P? is used as an abbreviation for saying that is in the smallest part of the chromosome seventeen. Another problems in the gene p53 will interfere with the production of a protein is what keeps that cells growth under control. Defects in p53 are believed to be among the most common genetic defect in breast cancer. A person can be born with a defective gene or the gene can become damaged thought the individuals life. Almost fifty percent of all humans? cancer cells contain a p53 mutation. An inborn defect in the p53 gene occurs in families with the rare disorder called ?Li-Fraumen-Syndrom?, which causes an inherited susceptibility of early cancers, including breast cancer (Benjamin). Since p53 is so important for normal cell growth in human researchers are continuing to look for ways to diagnose, prevent and treat cancer associated with p53 (American Cancer Society). It is know that BRCA1 and BRCA2 are tumor suppressor genes, which function to prevent stage of tumor development. Mutations in these genes only appear in a few inherited tumors, and are rarely in cancers or in normal tissues.

The test called ?bracanalysis?, can detect those genetic flaws in a women with a strong family history of breast cancer. The test consists of a single blood test. This test does not diagnose cancer nor will it predict if or when cancer will develop. The bracanalysis looks for a specific mutation on the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. Women with a family history of breast cancer are more likely to seek genetic testing if they believe in the benefits. ?The test cost between four hundred dollars and two thousand four hundred dollars depending on the type of test needed, and takes about a week to obtain the results? (Policy Statement of Genetic Testing of Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer in Women). Everyone is eligible to take the bracanalysis test, however, some should take it in account more that others. According to the National Cancer Society any women who fall into any of this categories should take in account of taking the test.

*Any women who has a personal history of breast cancer.

*Any women who have/had two or more close relatives with breast cancer.

*Any women who have/had a relative with breast cancer at an early age.

*Any women who have/had a relative with bilateral (both sides) breast cancer

*Any women who has a pattern of breast cancer in more than one generation of their family.

Any woman who takes the test will be faced with plenty of risks. Marin Penalist and oncologist and a breast specialist said, ?If you have the test done it comes up with a positive, it becomes a disaster?you?ll never get medical insurance again.? (qtd. in Jacobson). There are chances that after taking the test the women may suffer discrimination, from insures, such as health, life, and disability and from employers. A woman may also suffer from psychological distress. Mildred Cho, Ph.D., assistant professor at Penn?s center for bioethics, said that ?one of the reasons for this limited amount of information?? ?is the difficulty of getting data about the performance of the test detect late-onset conditions? (qtd in Randolph 2). Another thing Cho stated was that for this test to come out accurate there will have to be a lot of time and research invested, and the development of this test has not been around for that long. One of the Major risk a women?s taking is that is the results come out positive she will have to live with this for the rest of her life.

Taking this test will also supply that person with benefits. The woman has the chance of finding out if she will develop breast cancer or not (kelly 4). For example, if a woman has a family history of breast cancer the most appropriate thing to do from stopping cancer to harm her is by removing both breasts. Now with the bacanalysis test the women have a chance to know if she should remove her breast or not. The Cancer risk and Assessment and Counseling Report stated that three hundred and twenty four women who had family history of breast cancer decided to remove their breasts and only twenty-five developed breast cancer. At least forty and as one hundred breast cancer would have been expected. Any women who takes the test and gets positive will be obligated to attend counseling for at least six months or one year. Counseling that outlines the benefits of genetic testing for breast cancer may be an important tool for preventing the disease (kelly 2). Even in the absence of genetic testing cancer risk and assessment is recommended for individuals with a family history of cancer. Cancer risk counseling includes:

?Obtaining detailed family, medical, and life styles

?Documenting cancer- related diagnoses

?Constructing and analyzing family history

?Providing risk assessment and counseling

?Discussing options for early detection and prevention

?Discussing risk and benefits of gene testing

Today there is no cure for breast cancer, but the ability to do the right procedure will minimize the threats breast cancer had upon women. Today there are plenty of places a woman could seek help and treatment. There are not any reasons why the breast cancer should not be detected early. If every women follows up the procedure of BSE , takes the mammography annually and takes in account that breast cancer is a very serious disease, breast cancer would not have such a strong influence among American women today

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