Nursing Process: Approach to Care
Write a paper (1,750-2,000 words) on cancer and approach to care based on the utilization of the nursing process. Include the following in your paper:
Describe the diagnosis and staging of cancer.
Describe at least three complications of cancer, the side effects of treatment, and methods to lessen physical and psychological effects.
Discuss what factors contribute to the yearly incidence and mortality rates of various cancers in Americans.
Explain how the American Cancer Society (ACS) might provide education and support. What ACS services would you recommend and why?
Explain how the nursing process is utilized to provide safe and effective care for cancer patients across the life span. Your explanation should include each of the five phases and demonstrate the delivery of holistic and patient-focused care.
Discuss how undergraduate education in liberal arts and science studies contributes to the foundation of nursing knowledge and prepares nurses to work with patients utilizing the nursing process. Consider mathematics, social and physical sciences, and science studies as an interdisciplinary research area.
You are required to cite to a minimum of four sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and relevant to nursing practice.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
Describe the Diagnosis and Staging Cancer
There are no specific symptoms for cancer, only general symptoms such as fatigue, night sweats, and weight loss. Therefore, the diagnosis is not dependent on the symptoms as other diseases can cause them. Where cancer is suspected, the initial diagnostic tests include imaging tests such as computed tomography scans, magnetic imaging resonance, ultrasonography, and x-rays are first ordered. The imaging tests are used to detect abnormal masses in the body and identify their location. However, they cannot determine whether the masses are due to cancer or not. To confirm the presence of cancer, biopsy and tumour markers are evaluated for. A biopsy involves removing small tissues from the suspected abnormal masses, which are further evaluated to determine if they are cancerous or not. Biopsies can be obtained through needle aspirations or during surgeries. Tumor markers are substances that are released into the blood by cancerous cells/masses. Where imaging tests suggest the possibility of cancer, blood samples from the patient are analyzed in the lab to detect the presence of tumor markers. While some markers cannot be detected in blood, they can be evaluated in the biopsy samples (National Cancer Institute, 2022).
Following a cancer diagnosis, staging cancer usually follows. Staging cancer involves determining where the cancer is located, the size, how far it has grown into the neighboring tissues, whether it has spread to other body parts and the nearby lymph nodes. TNM is the main staging system that provides more details. T refers to the size of the primary tumor. There are different variations for T, including TX; a primary tumor cannot be measured, T0; the main tumor is not found, T1, T2, T3, and T4, represent the size where a higher number suggests more growth to the surrounding tissues. N represents the number of lymph nodes affected. NX, tumor in the nearby lymph nodes is not measured, N0; nearby lymph nodes are not affected, N1, N2, and N3, represents the number of affected lymph nodes, a higher number indicates more infections. M indicates whether it has spread to other body parts. MX, the spread cannot be measured, M0; tumor has not spread, M1; it has spread to other body parts (Lim et al., 2018).
Staging can also be classified using stages. Stage 0; abnormal cells are present, but they have not spread to other cells, are also called carcinoma in situ. They are not cancer, but they can become cancer. Stage 1, the tumor has not grown deeply into other tissues, and no lymph nodes are affected. Stage 2 and 3, the tumor has grown deeply into other surrounding tissues and the lymph nodes, but it has not yet spread into other body parts. Stage IV, the tumor has spread into other body parts and organs. At this stage, it is referred to as advanced or metastatic cancer (Lim et al., 2018).
Describe at Least Three Complications of Cancer, the Side Effects of Treatment, and Methods to Lessen Physical and Psychological Effects
Some of the complications caused by cancer include organ failure; cancer is likely to invade other organs; for example, breast cancer can invade lungs leading to difficulty in breathing and eventually lung failure. Malnourishment; tumors in the digestive system cause blockages, interfering with the absorption of essential nutrients, leading to malnutrition. Cancer patients also experience loss of appetite, which also leads to malnourishment. Chemical imbalances in the body lead to constipation, confusion, frequent thirst, and urination. Cancers such as bone cancer can cause hypercalcemia in the body, affecting the function of other organs in the body, such as the kidney and the brain (Center for Disease Prevention and Control, 2022).
Side effects of cancer treatment include neutropenia; most cancer patients are likely to experience a decreased level of white blood cells due to treatments such as chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs work by destroying fast-growing cells in the body, which includes the white blood cells, and therefore, while attacking the cancerous cells, the drugs also attack the white blood cells hence the neutropenia. Lymphedema; due to removal of affected lymph nodes and radiation treatment, the lymph fluid is not adequately drained, which leads to accumulation of fluid under the skin resulting in swelling of some of the body parts. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a major complication for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. The condition occurs when blood clots form in the deep veins, mostly in the legs, thighs, and pelvis. Patients receiving chemotherapy are commonly affected by this condition (Center for Disease Prevention and Control, 2022).
Some of the methods used to lessen the physical effects of cancer include using medications such as pain relievers to reduce pain. To deal with fatigue and weakness, patients should plan their activities to prioritize the important activities only, delegate some of the activities to others, organize a nap schedule to avoid exhaustion, get regular and light exercises, follow a balanced diet and modify the home environment so that essential items are within reach to avoid unnecessary movements. Methods to manage psychological effects include practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and visualization. Joining counseling and talk therapy groups with other patients can help one to communicate and share with others. Maintaining an active social life can assist deal with stress and depression. They are seeking mental health treatment such as depression and anxiety treatment. Use of complementary and alternative medicine practices such as music therapy (National Cancer Institute, 2022).