Throughout a woman’s life, her breasts go through many normal, healthy changes. However, patients do not always understand these changes and often visit health care providers for treatment. When examining these patients, you must be able to identify when a breast condition is the result of a safe and normal physiological change and when it is the result of an abnormal change requiring treatment and management. A diagnosis of a breast condition resulting from an abnormal change can be devastating for women, making emotional support as vital to women’s well-being as proper assessment, diagnosis, and management. For this Discussion, consider how you might diagnose, manage, and support the following two patients presenting with breast conditions:
You are seeing a 60-year-old Latina female, Gravida 4 Para 3104, who is concerned about a thick greenish discharge from her left breast for the past month. The discharge is spontaneous and associated with dull pain and burning. Upon questioning, she also tells you that she breastfed all her children and is currently not on any medications except for occasional Tylenol for arthritis. Her last mammogram, 14 months ago, was within normal limits. On exam, her left breast around the areola is slightly reddened and edematous. Upon palpation of the right quadrant, a greenish-black discharge exudes from the nipple. You note an ovoid, smooth, very mobile, non-tender 1 cm nodule in the RUIQ at 11:00 5 cm from the nipple. No adenopathy, dimpling, nipple discharge, or other associated findings. Her right breast is unremarkable. The patient expresses her desire to proactively decrease her risk for developing breast cancer.
Post an explanation of the differential diagnosis for the patient in the case study you selected. Explain which is the most likely diagnosis for the patient and why. Then, based on the appropriate clinical guidelines, explain a treatment and management plan for the patient, including proper dosages for any recommended treatments. Finally, explain strategies for educating patients on the disorder.
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