Cancer diagnosis, tests and treatment

 Cancer diagnosis

Jane is a 52-year-old female who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Cancer diagnosis begins after test results, and screening tests indicate the possibility of cancer thus needs to ascertain whether it is cancer or other causes. The process entails an inquiry into the personal and medical history and a physical examination of the affected area, for instance, in the case of breast cancer, a finger test is used to check for lumps. Diagnosis may also warrant biopsies and various forms of tests; lab and imaging. Lab tests check for levels of substances whose deficiencies and abundances may be pointers to cancer and rely on body fluids, blood and urine samples. Tumour markers are also used in tissue or blood tests, and these are substances whose production is in response to cancer cells and also produced by tumours. On the other hand, biopsies entail invasive procedures such as colonoscopy, bronchoscopy, and surgeries.

Her diagnosis was informed by cancer-like symptoms; however, although the complications of cancer differ, the common ones are; pain, loss of pain, malaise, nausea and loss of appetite. Moreover, when cancer spreads to the bones, they weaken increasing susceptibility to fracture. Cancer also affects the central nervous system resulting in severe neurologic morbidity and transience, in fact as revealed by Morgan et al.,( 2013) many forms of cancers have a high tendency to spread to the CNS and brain metastases are typical complications associated with malignancies such as in lung, breast, melanoma and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Upon analysis of her family history, she is an isolated case as none of her family members suffered from the disease. As a result, genes have no role to play in the progression of the disease; however, according to Kuchenbaecker et al. (2017), BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene one) and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene two) are responsible for breast cancer. Environmental factors such as not being adequately breastfed and not breastfeeding are risk factors for the development of breast cancer. According to Makama et al. (2017), mothers who breastfed are at a lower risk of developing pre-and post-menopausal breast cancer. Moreover, mothers who breastfeed for a more extended period enjoy more protection from the disease.

Dietary factors also come into play in her case, especially as the foods ingested have the potential to alter genes. It is highly probable that she was on a diet containing high levels of sugar, unhealthy fats, red meat and even milk. The consumption of red meat is a predisposition to cancer in many ways. The first is that, in consuming meat, the genes of the animal are passed to the human being. Secondly, vegetarians are usually at low risk of getting cancer as the vegan diet does not contain triggers. These triggers are not limited to meat as they also include milk; the consumption of milk increases chances of getting cancer because some milk contains synthetic bovine growth hormone which is known to increase the probability of getting cancer in humans (Malekinejad, & Rezabakhsh, 2015). Thirdly meat contains indigestible proteins that are not easily broken down and absorbed into the body resulting to inflammatory responses. Also, when meat is prepared using high-temperature methods, it releases harmful sugar molecules.

A sedentary lifestyle might have also played a role in her cancer development. The human being evolved as an active animal, and this explains why the lymph nodes are located around moving body parts. Unlike the circulatory system, which relies on the heart as a pumping mechanism, the lymphatic systems rely on the activity of the body to flow; inactivity compromises flow of the lymph fluid affecting immune functioning. The lack of exercises denies the body a dose of progenitor cells whose release enhances immune functioning; thus, the body can respond effectively to inflammation. Health benefits of exercise and its cancer prevention properties are manifested through research and according to Tribby, Berrigan,& Perna,(2020), physically active people are, except for melanoma, 50% less likely to develop other forms of cancer.

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