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Posted: July 12th, 2023

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin

his discussion contains 2 parts:

Part 1: Skin
KM is a 38-year-old white woman with a 6-year history of psoriasis. Her family history includes allergies and asthma and her mother with psoriasis. KM returns today for an increase in symptoms, and she wants to improve the appearance of her skin. Please discuss the following:

What is the underlying cause of psoriasis?
What are the common signs and symptoms of this disease?
Part 2: Breasts
Define, Compare and Contrast the following conditions:

Fibrocystic breast disease
Malignant breast tumor
Submission Instructions:

Your initial post should be at least 500 words, formatted and cited in proper current APA style with support from at least 2 academic sources. Your initial post is worth 8 points.
You should respond to at least two of your peers by extending, refuting/correcting, or adding additional nuance to their posts. Your reply posts are worth 2 points (1 point per response.)

Part 1: Skin

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin, resulting in the rapid growth of skin cells. The underlying cause of psoriasis is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, immune system, and environmental factors.

Genetic factors play a significant role in psoriasis. Studies have shown that certain genes associated with the immune system, such as HLA-Cw6, are more common in individuals with psoriasis. Having a family history of psoriasis, as in KM’s case with her mother having the condition, increases the risk of developing psoriasis.

The immune system also plays a crucial role in psoriasis. In a normal immune response, T cells help protect the body against infection and disease. However, in psoriasis, there is an abnormal immune response where T cells are mistakenly activated and trigger an inflammatory response in the skin. This leads to the rapid turnover of skin cells, resulting in the formation of thick, scaly patches on the skin.

The signs and symptoms of psoriasis can vary in severity and presentation. The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, characterized by raised, red patches covered with silvery scales. These patches often appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. Other forms of psoriasis include guttate psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and erythrodermic psoriasis, each with its own distinct characteristics.

Besides the physical symptoms, psoriasis can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. It can cause itching, pain, and discomfort, and can also affect a person’s self-esteem and emotional well-being. Psoriasis is a chronic condition with periods of remission and flare-ups, and triggers for flare-ups can vary from person to person but may include stress, certain medications, infections, or environmental factors.

Treatment for psoriasis aims to alleviate symptoms, reduce inflammation, and slow down the rapid skin cell growth. It can involve topical treatments such as corticosteroids or vitamin D analogs, phototherapy using ultraviolet light, systemic medications that modulate the immune system, or newer biologic therapies targeting specific molecules involved in the immune response.

Part 2: Breasts

Fibrocystic Breast Disease:
Fibrocystic breast disease, also known as fibrocystic changes or fibrocystic breast condition, refers to a benign (non-cancerous) condition characterized by the presence of lumps or cysts in the breasts. It is a common condition that primarily affects women of reproductive age.

Fibrocystic breast disease occurs due to hormonal changes in the menstrual cycle, particularly the fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone levels. These hormonal changes can cause the breast tissue to become denser and develop fibrous and cystic changes. The breasts may feel lumpy or have areas of thickened tissue, which can be tender or painful. Symptoms may worsen before menstruation and improve afterwards.

Fibroadenoma is another benign breast condition characterized by the development of a non-cancerous tumor within the breast tissue. It most commonly affects women in their late teens and early 20s, but it can occur at any age.

A fibroadenoma is a solid tumor that consists of both glandular and connective tissue. It typically feels like a smooth, firm, rubbery lump that can move easily within the breast. Fibroadenomas are usually painless, although they may cause tenderness or discomfort.

Malignant Breast Tumor:
A malignant breast tumor refers to a cancerous growth within the breast tissue. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women worldwide. It can occur in both men and women, but it is more prevalent in women.

Malignant breast tumors arise from the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells within the breast tissue. The exact causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, but factors such as genetic mutations, hormonal influences, and environmental factors can contribute to its development.

Signs and symptoms of malignant breast tumors can include a new lump or thickening in the breast or underarm area, changes in breast size or shape, nipple changes (e.g., inversion, discharge), redness or dimpling of the breast skin, and breast pain. However, it’s important to note that not all breast changes or lumps are cancerous, and further evaluation is necessary to determine the nature of the condition.

The diagnosis of fibrocystic breast disease, fibroadenoma, or a malignant breast tumor is typically made through a combination of clinical evaluation, imaging studies (e.g., mammography, ultrasound), and in some cases, a biopsy to analyze the breast tissue.

Each of these conditions requires different management strategies. Fibrocystic breast disease may be managed by lifestyle modifications, such as wearing a supportive bra, applying heat or cold packs for symptom relief, or taking over-the-counter pain medications. Fibroadenomas often do not require treatment unless they cause significant symptoms or exhibit concerning characteristics on imaging. Malignant breast tumors require prompt medical attention and may involve a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or hormone therapy, depending on the specific characteristics of the tumor and the individual’s overall health.

It is important for individuals to be aware of any changes in their breasts and promptly report them to their healthcare provider for further evaluation and appropriate management. Regular breast self-exams, clinical breast exams, and mammograms as recommended by healthcare professionals are essential in the early detection and management of breast conditions.

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