Middle Tennessee State University Cancer Case Study Analysis

Mrs. S. is a 46-year-old female who consults her physician about the nature of a lump in her left breast. About three months ago, Mrs. S.’s spouse noticed a small lump in her left breast; however, she was unconcerned because in the past she has experienced small lumps in her breast around the times of her menses. However, this lump seemed to be growing and did not seem to fluctuate in size as in the past. By the time she sought a healthcare opinion she had three small additional lumps that fluctuated in size in her right breast. She states that she is in excellent health, exercises daily, and neither smokes nor drinks alcohol.

Mrs. S. is the mother of two preteen children. After the birth of her last child, she took birth control pills for eight years and then selected an alternative method of birth control. Her onset of menses occurred at age 10. Her family history reveals that her mother and one of her three aunts died of breast cancer; otherwise, the history is noncontributing.

On examination, a 2 to 3 cm mass was palpated in the upper outer quadrant of Mrs. S’s left breast. This mass was firm, fixed to the chest wall, and slightly tender to touch. The skin and nipple appeared normal. Under the left axilla, a node about the size of a pea was palpable. Three 1 to 2 cm soft, movable masses were palpated in Mrs. B.’s right breast.

Mammography confirmed the presence of a 3-centimeter mass in the left breast and four 1.5 cm masses in the right breast. All other diagnostic procedures were negative.

Discuss the pathophysiological changes that occur with breast cancer.

What factors from Mrs. S’s history could be contributing factors for cancer?


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