Detailed Description of the Disorder
Breast cancer is a malevolent tumor that develops in cells of the breast. There are several types of breast cancer, which include ductal carcinoma in situ that does not proliferate and is easily treated. Invasive ductal carcinoma is the most common breast cancer, accounting for about 80 percent of all invasive cancers. The key symptom of breast cancer is the occurrence of a protuberance in the breast. In addition, the nipple becomes painful and releases a discharge. The breast also becomes engorged and has a reddish color around the nipple. A screening mammography, scrutiny of the patient’s family history and a breast examination help in the diagnosis of breast cancer (Breast Cancer Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, n.d.).
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There are many treatment options for breast cancer depending on the type and level of progression of the condition. These treatment options include surgery to detach the tumor and surrounding cells, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone treatment, and gene (targeted) therapy (Batra & Jajoo, 2011). Several treatment options can be used to ensure complete elimination of the malignant tissues. The length of the recovery period depends on the therapy. For example, a lumpectomy requires one to two weeks while radiation therapy needs one to six weeks to heal. Chemotherapy, on the other hand, needs three to six months. Breast cancer survival rate decreases with the increase in the level of disease progression before the initial diagnosis. A five-year survival rate indicates that the survival chances are 88% for cancer diagnosed at stage I and 15% for stage IV cancer (Breast Cancer Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, n.d.).
(+): Breast cancer does not significantly affect the concentration of my client, Mrs. Smith. Her memory state is the same as it was before the diagnosis. I do not expect breast cancer to compromise her concentration, memory or her problem solving ability unless it recurs and necessitates that she undergoes further treatment.
(-): She sometimes looks distracted and does not pay attention. A slight reduction in her attention span occurs with the increase in time as evidenced in a study by Hedayati et al. (2011).
(+): Mrs. Smith’s sensory functions are intact including the visual, auditory, olfactory, and gustatory functions since breast cancer does not affect the brain.
(-): She is tremendously sensitive to pain, which implies that her tactile senses are extremely sharp.
(+): Mrs. Smith’s motor functions are fair especially the fine motor functions and balance. She can still do most of the little things she used to do before her cancer diagnosis and treatment.
(-): Her gross motor function suffers a lot because she complains of a sharp pain whenever she lifts a heavy object or moves her body vigorously. This affects her relationship with her children because she no longer participates in outdoor games with them.
(+): There is no likelihood of substance abuse by Mrs. Smith because she is extremely enthusiastic about being healthy again and does not do anything that jeopardizes her recovery process.
(-): Mrs. Smith displays some axis I clinical syndromes. She exhibits anxiety and adjustment disorders, which tend to affect her social life. There is a high likelihood of the development of depression due to the lumpectomy. This is because she feels that she has lost a vital section of her body.
(+): Mrs. Smith exhibits excellent adaptation to her situation and shows immense enthusiasm in her work. She has adapted well to her work environment, which is evident because she tries to recover the time she lost during treatment. Her money management skills are okay since she wants to ensure that she has enough savings in case of an emergency appointment with her oncologist. She is also dependable and maintains high levels of hygiene.
(-): Her social interaction is not as it was in the past. She does not like her colleagues to ask her questions concerning her illness and avoids those who attempt to do so.
Suitable Jobs for Cancer Patients
29-9092.00 – Genetic Counselors
Reading, speaking and writing are the key skills required for this job. In addition, the person needs to have social insight to comprehend why people react in certain ways. There are few rehabilitation services provided for people suffering from breast cancer. This is because the individuals in this occupation do not strain during working hours.
21-1012.00 – Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
The key skills required for this job are dynamic listening, speaking, reading, critical thinking, writing, and decision making. This is because the job mainly involves listening and solving other people’s problems (Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors- 21-1012.00, n.d.). The context of the work entails numerous telephone and email communication, face-to-face deliberations, written mail, and memos. The work activities entail planning, organizing and decision making. In addition, the tools and technology used do not require a lot of effort. Therefore, there are no rehabilitation services to cater for cancer patients since the tasks are not physically draining (Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors- 21-1012.00, n.d.).
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Batra, R., & Jajoo, P. (2011). The role of rehabilitation in cancer patients. In Flanagan, S.R., Zaretsky, H.H., & Moroz, A. (Eds), Medical aspects of disability: A handbook for the rehabilitation professional (pp 103-118). New York: Springer Publishing.
Breast Cancer Symptoms, Causes, Treatment. (n.d.). Web.
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors – 21-1012.00. (n.d.). Web.
Hedayati. E., Schedin, A., Nyman, H., Alinaghizadeh, H. & Albertson, M. (2011). The effects of breast cancer diagnosis and surgery on cognitive functions. Acta Oncologica. 50(7):1027-36. Web.