Social Research On Health Essay

Questions:

1. Examine why this health issue is more of a problem in the particular community at risk compared to others?
2. How do the rates of disease or the health condition differ for the population you chose compared to the overall U.S. population?
3. Discuss how different factors influence this health problem?

Answers:

Problem

Cancer is associated with the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of the cell in the particular tissues of the body. When cancer occurs in the breast, then it is termed as breast cancer. A breast is consists of glands, connective tissues, and ducts. The common kinds of breast cancers are associated with ductal carcinoma and lobular carcinoma including uncommon breast cancer as inflammatory breast cancer. In ductal carcinoma, the cancer cells are spread into other portion of the breast tissue from a ductal cell line. Lobular carcinoma only found in breast lobules. The visible changes associated with breast cancer includes redness in the breast skin, the formation of new lumps that results in swelling and pain in some areas (www.cdc.gov).

The biological reason for the breast cancer is concerned with changes in the breast cancer genes namely BRCA1 and BRCA2. Factors that increase the risk of breast cancer are radiation therapy treatment, family history of breast cancer, previous history of breast diseases. In the United States, the second common cancer occurs is breast cancer. Studies have shown that every year in an average of 230,000 new cases of breast cancer in women being registered in the US. Most of the breast cancer occurs in the women who are 50 years old or above. But recently 11% of new cases are associated with the women younger than 45 years of age (womenshealth.gov).

Breast cancer is a crucial health issue for Asian-American women, and it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer type among them. It is also the leading cause of the death of Filipino women. Adaptation of Western lifestyle may be the key reason for the high rate of breast cancer (www.cancer.gov).

1. Community at Risk

The occurrence of breast cancer is higher in Asian-American women. It has found that the Japanese-American women are very much prone to have the highest breast cancer rate among other Asian-American. Asian American women get the breast cancer more frequently compare to the other Asian counterparts. Studies have shown the women who are migrating from the native land to the United States are developing the risk of having breast cancer six times higher. The Asian women are reported with lowest breast cancer incidents but the Asian women who have spent about one decade in America have 80 percent higher rate of breast cancer compare to the new immigrants. In the case of some Filipino American subgroups the breast cancer has become a leading cause of death. If the breast cancer monitored at the early stages, then it can offer a chance of survival. But the Asian American women are least interested in performing a mammogram. Compare to other racial groups the Asian American women have the lower participation rate in the self examination of breasts. Considering the example of Chinese Asian American, it has found the in China the occurrence of breast cancer in women is 18.7 among 100,000 people but in the United States, the rate is 55 per 100,000 people.

Researchers have highlighted the reason for the increased rate of breast cancer is an adaptation of Western lifestyle. Intake of any particular type of food regularly in the diet is another cause of increasing breast cancer rate. The western food habit affects the estrogen receptors in the breast that result in tumor formation, and it results in 90 percent increase in breast cancer rate. The western dietary habit may contain some ingredients that increase the mutation rate to DNA and results in hormonal function change to altered cell proliferation. Apart from the Western lifestyle habit the community is facing the problem of increased rate of breast cancer due to irregularity in menstruation cycle, overweight problem, lower physical activity, and smoking and drinking habit (Wen et al., 2014).

2. Health Statistics

As stated by DeSantis et al. (2014), the rate of breast cancer is different in the Asian American women compare to the overall United States population. It has found that the breast cancer rate in African American women is relatively high among the women who are less than 45 years of age, but the rate is comparatively lower than Asian American women. African American community is less likely to get proper health care, and that result in the long lasting breast cancer problem. Comparison with Latino community has revealed that the occurrence of breast cancer in women is almost same that of the Asian American community. But the death rate is comparatively low in the Latino American community. The community is prone to breast cancer due to unaware about the healthy lifestyle and prevention measures of the disease. American Indian and Alaska Natives have the least rate of breast cancers, and the death rate is also very low compare to the Asian American. One major cause for this is that a majority of American Indian have no access to the health facilities. Breast cancer is also prominent in the Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women but the rate of occurrence vary between different women groups. The tumor in Hawaiian women found at later age compares to Asian American women. The overall breast cancer statistics of US has shown that the incidence of breast cancer is 127.8, and the rate of death due to the disease is 25.5. The Asian American women have the rate of breast cancer 89.0 per 100,000 and the death rate due to this cancer is 12.6 per 100,000. However, the White women community has the highest rate of having breast cancer 132.5 per 100,000 women in the United States (www.nlm.nih.gov).

3. Influencing Social Factors

There are various factors like culture, immigration, gender, disability, socioeconomic that are responsible to influence the healthy well-being of individuals in Asian American community. Each community has their cultural interest, and North America is having the population of various Asian communities like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Indonesian, Laotian, etc. These groups are growing at a faster rate. Asian American community usually faces problems to establish their cultural identity in the American cultural society. And thus, they often chose to adopt the Western culture. That makes the Asian people vulnerable to breast cancer (Gomez et al., 2014).

As mentioned already, the Asian American community is comprised of several races, which brings their cultural aspects and different disease history. The disease history of several races contributes to the formation of breast cancer. The breast cancer is common in women rather than men. Breast cancer is quite rare in men. It has reported that every year 2,300 new cases of breast cancer found in men (Gomez et al., 2012). A large portion of immigrants in the United States are from Asian countries. Researchers have indicated that the immigration results in health access problems. Illegal immigrants avoid the health facilities of the US due to the fear of discovery. Asian Americans with disabilities are very much prone to the breast cancers. The problem of obesity plays a key role in promoting cancer more (Vasireddy, 2016).

As stated by Gomez et al. (2013), sexual orientation is another parameter that determines the rate of breast cancer. It has found that the lesbians are less prone to have breast cancer. The occurrence of breast cancer rate is higher if the parents have a record of breast cancer. The Asian American communities have 20% breast cancer inherited from the parents. Socioeconomic condition of the community restricts the individuals to access the health facilities (Jabson & Bowen, 2014). The individuals with low earning suppose to get poor health care coverage in the Asian American community. Thus, the people of the community avoid the regular health checkups (minorityhealth.hhs.gov).

Recommendations

The exact cure of the breast cancer in not known yet. But there are several things that can reduce the risk of breast cancer. The Asian American women have to follow the breast cancer screening tests regularly. It is mandatory to record the mammogram data at regular intervals. Mammogram data will help to recognize the early stages of the breast cancer for which proper treatment is available. Two common tests for the breast cancer screening are-

  • Mammogram which is a safe low-dose x-ray examination to find out changes in the breasts. Individuals need to record the mammogram data in every 1-2 years. Asian American women need to follow the physician’s advice to perform the first mammogram before the age of 40 (Yaghjyan et al., 2013)
  • Clinical breast exam refers to the routine check up for detecting formation of lumps or other unusual things.

Apart from the screening test, the Asian American women have to concern about the health status. The people need to maintain the body weight under normal parameter and maintain a healthy diet consists of vegetables and fruit and avoid drinking alcohol (Oztunc et al., 2013). If an individual keeps physically active by regular exercise, then it will reduce the risk of breast cancer. The Asian families having children need to breast feed the children for a long period to reduce the risk. It is also recommended to the Asian American women to avoid the estrogen-blocking drugs and give up smoking. Studies have found that menopausal hormone replacement therapy increase the rate of breast cancer. Therefore, it is mandatory to avoid the replacement therapy and use hormonal gels for safer use. Furthermore, the women who have removed both breasts have a lesser risk of 90 percent to have breast cancer. So the prophylactic surgery is the appropriate option to avoid the minimal risk of breast cancer.

References

CDC Works 24/7. (2016). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 22 March 2016, from

Comprehensive Cancer Information. (2016). National Cancer Institute. Retrieved 22 March 2016, from

DeSantis, C., Ma, J., Bryan, L., & Jemal, A. (2014). Breast cancer statistics, 2013. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 64(1), 52-62.

Gomez, S. L., Glaser, S. L., Horn-Ross, P. L., Cheng, I., Quach, T., Clarke, C. A., ... & Satariano, W. A. (2014). Cancer research in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander populations: accelerating cancer knowledge by acknowledging and leveraging heterogeneity. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 23(11), 2202-2205.

Gomez, S. L., Noone, A. M., Lichtensztajn, D. Y., Scoppa, S., Gibson, J. T., Liu, L., ... & Goodman, M. T. (2013). Cancer incidence trends among Asian American populations in the United States, 1990–2008. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 105(15), 1096-1110.

Gomez, S. L., Press, D. J., Lichtensztajn, D., Keegan, T. H., Shema, S. J., Le, G. M., & Kurian, A. W. (2012). Patient, hospital, and neighborhood factors associated with treatment of early-stage breast cancer among Asian American women in California. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

Home Page - Office of Minority Health (OMH). (2016). Minorityhealth.hhs.gov. Retrieved 22 March 2016, from

Jabson, J. M., & Bowen, D. J. (2014). Perceived stress and sexual orientation among breast cancer survivors. Journal of homosexuality, 61(6), 889-898.

National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health. (2016). Nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 22 March 2016, from

Oztunc, G., Yesil, P., Paydas, S., & Erdogan, S. (2013). Social support and hopelessness in patients with breast cancer. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 14(1), 571-578.

Vasireddy, S. (2016). Factors affecting breast cancer a study of socio economic profile of a patient in hospital setting.

Wen, K. Y., Fang, C. Y., & Ma, G. X. (2014). Breast cancer experience and survivorship among Asian Americans: a systematic review. Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 8(1), 94-107.

Womenshealth.gov. (2016) Retrieved 22 March 2016, from

Yaghjyan, L., Colditz, G. A., Rosner, B., & Tamimi, R. M. (2013). Mammographic breast density and subsequent risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women according to the time since the mammogram.Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 22(6), 1110-1117.

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