Cancer in Prince George’s County, Maryland
Discuss Health Concern
In the state of Maryland, the population in Prince George’s county as of July 1,2017 is estimated to be 912,756 residents. Consisting of 27 towns and cities, Prince George’s County spans 482.69 miles (U.S Census, 2010). The 2017 Prince George’s County health report that was conducted by the Prince George’s County health department states that aside from heart disease, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the county with female breast cancer being the most prevalent form of cancer (Creekmur, Perkins, Silcox, Maffett, 2017, p.23).
Pathophysiology and Etiology
Cancer is a cluster of diseases that generate cells in the body to change and spread out of control (American Cancer Society, 2017-2018). Breast cancer penetrates and develops through regional lymph nodes, and the bloodstream or both. Affecting almost any organ in the body is metastatic breast cancer. Usually breast cancer affects glandular breast cells in the lobules or ducts (Kosir, 2018).
There are many reasons a female could have breast cancer, age being the biggest risk factor. Some other risk factors include having a family history of breast cancer, having the breast cancer gene, having already had breast cancer before, changes in the breast, using oral contraceptives, diet and lifestyle, obesity, and being exposed to radiation (Kosir, 2018). According to Breast Cancer Facts ; Figures 2017-2018 by American Cancer Society breast density, bone mineral density, height and menstrual cycles are also risk factors.
Cancer prevention is very important. There are three different kinds of prevention for all diseases not just cancer. Primary prevention is all about the things you can do to prevent a disease. Secondary prevention looks more at the early detection of diseases and how to prevent them from progressing further. The last kind of prevention is tertiary prevention, this kind of prevention aims at management of a disease and trying to get a person back to as normal as possible like before the disease.
Good practices of primary prevention with breast cancer are doing monthly self-breast exams, maintaining a healthy weight, maintaining a good diet and exercise regimen and seeking out help if you don’t know how to do those things. Refraining from tobacco and alcohol use and keeping a good sleep schedule are some more good prevention methods (“Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2017-2018”, 2018).
Secondary prevention is all about early detection of the disease and halting any further progression of it. Early detection is very important, so preforming monthly self-breast exams, having a clinical breast exam performed by your physician and yearly well women physicals are ways of early detection. Some other diagnostic tools used for early detection are mammograms, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), breast ultrasounds, biopsy, and prophylactic mastectomy for those with the breast cancer gene (“Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2017-2018”, 2018).
Tertiary prevention is mostly about treatment of the disease and helping a person to return to as normal as they possibly can. Although not a medical treatment having a good support system or going to a support group helps with the treatment of cancer in the long run. Chemotherapy and radiation are the most common forms of treatment for most cancers. Starting with the least invasive treatment is systemic therapy, a kind of treatment goes through the bloodstream and treats all parts of the body. Chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy are considered to be a part of systemic therapy. More invasive forms of treatment are surgery and or having a mastectomy (“Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2017-2018”, 2018).
Access for Assistance
Community Based Resources
Prince George’s County has access many different kinds of health care. According to the American Fact Finder (2016) in there are 497 physician’s offices, 56 fitness and recreational facilities, 291 health and personal care stores, 121 pharmacies and drug stores, and 6 diet and weight reducing centers in the county. Doctors Community Hospital, Fort Washington Medical Center, Laurel Regional Hospital, MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, and Prince George’s Hospital Center are the five hospitals residents have access to (Prince George’s County Health Department, 2016, p.2). Along with these five hospitals, residents in Prince George’s county have access to 91 home health care services, and 23 diagnostic imagining centers. Residents of Prince George’s County has access to 298 different grocery stores, 1,176 restaurants, and many other places to eat (American Fact Finder, 2016). All together Prince George’s County has many resources for the prevention and treatment of female breast cancer.