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Breast Cancer: Research Review Paper


Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women. However, plenty of scholar’s investigations help doctors, nurses, and patients to take precautionary and care measures improving their physical and psychological condition.

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Gap analysis of the previous investigation

In order to deepen the investigation, the so-called gap analysis was provided as new study would contribute to an understanding of the topic in a way that could improve clinical practice for the nurse practitioner and improve patient outcomes. Previously considered Breastfeeding and the Prevention of Breast Cancer: a Retrospective Review of Clinical Histories article by González-Jiménez, García, Aguilar, Padilla, and Álvarez (2013) suggests the idea that breastfeeding, especially prolonged one reduces the risk of breast cancer, but lactation protects only non-smoking mothers. In its turn, Fostering Early Breast Cancer Detection: Faith Community Nurses Reaching At-risk Populations study by Shackelford, Weyhenmeyer, and Mabus (2014) states that education of faith community nurses of principles of preventive examinations is significant as they would be able to provide a clinical examination and teach women to carry out breast self-examination. Moreover, based on statistic data the article proves that plenty of women living in cities and megacities have higher chances to become breast cancer victims. It happens because of the environmental pollution that negatively affects not only nature but also human himself. That is why African American women and women living in rural areas have low rates of illness and consequently low mortality rates.

Concluding from the reviewed articles one may note that there is a lack of information about overweight and obesity women who suffer from malignant or benign breast tumors. In my opinion, it is of great importance to study the above topic to achieve a complete research.

Obesity as a Key Determinant of the Breast Cancer

Obesity becomes a scourge of the modern humanity. According to statistics, since 1980, the number of obese people has doubled. If earlier it was believed that obesity is a problem only for the countries with high income, now overweight and obese people are found around the world. In 2014, the World Health Organisation released facts that 1.9 billion adults are overweight among which 600 million are obese (Obesity and Overweight, n.d., par. 1). In 2000, for the first time in human history, the number of adults who were overweight was more than the number of adults who were underweight. US rates of obesity of the population are the fourth largest in the world: about 2/3 of the people in America are overweight, including about one-third are obese (Obesity and Overweight, n.d., par. 1). “The complications of obesity include dyslipidemia, hypertension, sleep apnoea, and glucose intolerance,” claim Dannenberg and Berger (2013, p. 62). Despite the disheartening statistics, the breast cancer death rate is reducing due to early diagnosis and improved treatment methods.

Clinical Relevance of the Proposed Research Question

Speaking of the clinical relevance, it is significant to define the role of a nurse in the process of care of patients with breast cancer. I agree with Denton (2011) who considers that “nurse should be familiar with the patient’s history, previous treatments used and their efficacy, the physical appearance of the lesion, and the patient’s description of how it liked before” (p. 177). A nurse should provide ongoing psychological support including the following aspects: to talk with the patient about the measures to prevent obesity and to dispense physical and emotional stress of the patient in the organization of his rest and rehabilitation.

Moreover, it is important for a nurse to help to overcome the stereotype of public consciousness, according to which all obese people eat in huge amounts all the time. Unfortunately, they usually consume no more food than people of normal weight, and the cause of obesity lies in the presence of complex metabolic disorders leading to the accumulation and deposition of the excess fat. According to Borland (2011, July 20), “scientists say that obesity is the biggest avoidable cause of the disease” (par. 16). The risk of the breast cancer may depend on genetic predisposition and other factors, but there some things that women can do to reduce the risk of illness. The role of nurses here is to explain and promote the healthy lifestyle, particularly reduction of weight in terms of limiting fast food, alcohol drinking, and other measures. An adequate physical activity that stimulates the process of metabolism of food glucose also contributes to the weight reduction. A treatment of the obesity in order to avoid breast cancer is mainly depending on proper care, adherence, and diet. In this regard, the role of nurses in the effectiveness of the treatment is increasing.

Ideas about Research Design

Every study needs a research design before starting because it is an integral part of the research. Therefore, I need to determine a research method of possible investigation. According to Brown and Simpson (2014), “obesity-related postmenopausal tumors are largely dependent on steroid hormones for growth while obese premenopausal women tend to develop triple negative tumors” (p. 8). With this in mind, I would like to investigate this group of women. In my research, I would use mixed design of investigation. A qualitative method involves the collection of information in a free form; it focuses on the understanding, explanation, and interpretation of empirical data that is the source of speculation and productive ideas. A quantitative method comprises conducting various surveys based on the use of structured questions of closed type, which corresponds to a large number of respondents. The main objective of quantitative research is to obtain a numerical estimate of the issue or the reaction of respondents towards it. For example, it would be better if the number of obese women was accompanied the explanation of the situation. Accordingly, I would like to provide quantitative research finding out the number of women patients with the breast cancer in different living or social conditions (for example, rural or living in city), of diverse age after menopause and before (40-55), and of different stages of the breast cancer (I, II, III, IV). After that, I would like to interpret and understand the results to make relevant conclusions and contribute to some extent to the breast cancer patients’ care. Overall, it seems appropriate to interview approximately 250 women from different hospitals, hospices, and, perhaps, at their homes. I consider that the less number of interviewee would lead to the incorrect results.

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It should be stressed that the results of the review paper lead to the conclusion that there is a need to conduct an investigation concerning the relation between obesity and overweight and risk of the breast cancer development among women close to the menopause. In my opinion, the research design suggested above is appropriate and deliberated as, precisely speaking, it is women after forty who suffer from the breast cancer more than others do.


Borland, S. (2011). Obesity Is ‘Bigger Cause of Breast Cancer than Smoking or Drinking’ Daily Mail. Web.

Brown, K., & Simpson, E. (2014). Obesity and Breast Cancer: The Role of Dysregulated Estrogen Metabolism. New York: Springer.

Dannenberg, A., & Berger, N. (2013). Obesity, Inflammation and Cancer. New York, NY: Springer.

Denton, S. (2011). Breast Cancer Nursing (2nd ed.). London: Springer-Science.

Obesity and Overweight. (n.d.). World Health Organisation. Web.

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