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Caring for Patients With Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Breast cancer affects nearly 232,000 women annually in the United States. The average woman has a one in eight lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. What is the median age of diagnosis?

breast cancer breaststroke concept. doctor explain mammogram results of breast test from x-ray scan on digital tablet screen to patient. utah778 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Established risk factors for breast cancer include gender, increasing age, family history of breast cancer, early menarche, late menopause, long-term hormone replacement therapy, breast density, ethnicity, and genetics. Research suggests that consuming one alcoholic drink a day increases the risk of breast cancer by 7% and consuming two or three drinks per day raises the risk by what percentage?

A Caucasian woman is indoors in her house. She has cancer, and she is wearing a head scarf to hide her hair loss. She is sitting in a chair and smiling at the camera. FatCamera / E+
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Lymphedema may result during or following breast cancer treatment. It manifests as a swelling that occurs when protein-rich lymph fluid accumulates in the interstitial tissue.

mature woman getting lymphphedema therapy. JodiJacobson / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Guidelines for the provision of oral care to patients with cancer have been developed by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. These guidelines do not recommend patients receive a dental visit prior to beginning cancer treatment.

Nurse Assisting Patient Undergoing Mammogram monkeybusinessimages / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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The dental team should develop a comprehensive oral care plan that eliminates potential sites of infection that could produce complications during cancer treatment. Specific areas to address include necrotic teeth, mucosal lesions, dental caries, periodontal diseases, ill-fitting dentures or orthodontic appliances, temporomandibular dysfunction, and xerostomia.

Breast cancer survivors and patients participate in a support group meeting. Steve Debenport / E+
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Oral mucositis is the inflammation of oral mucosa resulting from chemotherapeutic agents, which typically manifests as erythema or ulcerations. Oral mucositis presents in approximately what percentage of patients receiving chemotherapy?

Patient hand with the tube of normal saline infusion bankrx / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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While guidelines for dental care have been given for the pretreatment and chemotherapy phases of breast cancer treatment, little information is available about care for patients undergoing antiestrogen or hormonal therapies.

Estrogen word written on the book and hormones list designer491 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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Caring for Patients With Breast Cancer
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