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Physical Assessment - Essay Example

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In females, it is composed of specialized glandular tissue – also known as mammary glands; that produces milk. It is considered accessory organs of the female reproductive…
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Physical Assessment
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Physical Assessment

The nipple is surrounded by pigmented area of the skin, known as the areola, which possesses underlying areolar glands. Normal breasts are located between the second and the sixth ribs and from the lateral margin of sternum to mid-axillary line. They enlarge during pregnancy and lactation, due to the enlargement of ducts and lobules (Snell, 2008).
The normal shape of the breast is due to the connective tissue and ligaments and it is supplied by nerves, blood and lymph vessels, and lymph nodes. Accurate diagnosis is important to assess the proper function of mammary glands (in females), as well as the increasing risk of breast cancer in both males and females (WebMD, n.d.)
The patient complained of severe pain in the upper lateral quadrant on the left side of her breast since the past six days, and difficulty in breathing. Her left nipple appeared to be slightly inverted since her menopause eight years ago. She had two children whom she had lactated until the first year after their births.
Both the right and left breasts appeared symmetrical and were located on the pectoral muscles in normal position and were of an average size. The skin was smooth throughout and there was no discoloration, heat or erythema on either of them. Her right nipple was everted but her left one had been inverted since menopause. Upon palpation, the right breast had no swollen lymph nodes or tenderness, but the upper left quadrant of left breast had focal nodularity, slight swelling of axilla and tenderness. There was no discharge from either of the nipples.
Upon mammography and sentinel node biopsy, it was discovered that the patient had metastatic breast cancer and advised mastectomy and subsequent chemotherapy and breast irradiation. Her estrogen and progesterone receptor assays were positive, confirming the aforementioned prognosis.
Educate the patient regarding breast cancer and its specifics. Bilateral ... Read More
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