Providing patients with advanced cancer care requires an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach. Zhang et al. (2021) state that the foundation of high-quality cancer care is the fundamental belief that patient engagement plays a key role in providing care. In the case of complicated and incurable cancers, the lack of a conventional gold treatment is apparent. Therefore, in order to provide cancer care that is patient-centered and of the highest caliber, it is essential to give patients with advanced cancers’ intrinsic needs, values, and preferences first priority. Considering those mentioned above, the subsequent essay explores the application of the nursing method in cancer care. This paper specifically examines the topics of cancer diagnosis and staging, difficulties associated with cancer, side effects of cancer treatment, and strategies for mitigating psychological and physical distress.
Diagnosis and Staging of Cancer
As stated by the National Cancer Institute, physicians diagnose cancer through laboratory testing, biopsies, and imaging studies. Laboratory examinations mostly center around the analysis of tumor markers, as cancerous cells exhibit an overproduction of these bio molecules. In most cases, physicians often do not rely on biopsies as a primary means of diagnosing cancer. Moreover, the utilization of a physical examination can serve as a diagnostic approach to ascertain the malignancy of a certain illness. In order to identify any abnormal masses suggestive of neoplastic growths, medical professionals may conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the patient. In this context, the observations pertaining to variations in skin tone and the phenomenon of expansion are duly documented. Nevertheless, medical practitioners employ various methods beyond physical examination to ensure the right diagnosis of cancer.
Zhang et al. (2021) assert that the process of staging cancer involves the assessment and determination of the dimensions, extent, and infiltration of adjacent organs by the primary tumor. Accurately determining the precise location and dimensions of a tumor is a crucial stage in the process of tumor staging, as it ultimately influences the selection of the most appropriate treatment strategy. Moreover, by the projection of tumor growth trajectory and the assessment of treatment success likelihood, the cancer staging technique is employed to choose the optimal course of action. While it is true that each patient’s condition is distinct, there is often a correlation between similar types or stages of cancer and their corresponding results. It is imperative to bear in mind that staging is not applicable to all forms of cancer. Leukemia is a malignant neoplasm characterized by the abnormal proliferation of blood cells and disruption of the hematological system. Clinical manifestation is frequently preceded by the systemic dissemination of the disease to other organs.
The numeric and Tumor, Node, Metastasized (TNM) method of cancer staging after the confirmed diagnosis.
Most cancers are staged at diagnosis and after treatment. Clinical and pathological staging are the primary cancer staging modalities. There are several cancer staging approaches; however, TNM is widely used. In this framework, the doctor assigns T to the tumor, N to the lymph nodes, and M to metastasis to determine the comprehensive cancer stage. Doctors examine the T-category primary tumor to determine its anatomical location. In this scenario, “TX” means the tumor’s size cannot be specified, whereas “T1” means its location cannot be defined. Cancer cells grow within their source cells without spreading to nearby tissues. Tumors are characterized by size and applied using numerical values 1, 2, 3, or 4. Lymph nodes are examined for malignant infiltration in the N category. NX denotes no awareness of lymph node malignancy, while NO indicates no cancer. Dimensions, spatial coordinates, and number of afflicted lymph nodes are 1, 2, and 3 (Zhang et al., 2021).
Medical professionals assess tumor metastasis in M. MX means no tumor, but M1 means cancer cells have metastasized to nearby organs. Note that each cancer kind has its own TNM classifications. Thus, letters and numbers may be interpreted differently in various cancers. The stage is determined by combining T, N, and M values. In this context, cancer has phases I–IV. Size and spread to adjacent body parts increase with a higher numerical value. Advanced cancers metastasize to nearby organs, requiring more advanced treatment. Stage 0, carcinoma in situ, refers to a cancer’s restriction to its origin cells without further spread.
Complications of Cancer, Side Effects of Treatment, and Methods to Lessen Physical and Psychological Effects
Cancer patients encounter many situations related to malignant tumors, metastasis, para neoplastic disorders, and anti-cancer therapy. These emergencies can be minor or life-threatening but always require prompt action to prevent permanent damage. SIADH, SCC, and anaphylactoid response are common cancer complications. Cancer still causes most symptoms of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone secretion. The disease is caused by an oversupply of anti-diuretic hormone, which maintains fluid balance. Excess hormones can cause water intoxication. Spinal cord compression is a severe cancer consequence. Application of Nursing Process Approach to Cancer Care Essay. About 5% of cancer patients have spinal metastases; according to Brook (2020), Oxaliplatin therapy for cancer patients is associated with severe and even fatal anaphylactoid responses.
Malignant medicines can cause side effects because malignant cells damage healthy cells. Side effects depend on patient features and drugs. Neutropenia, lymph edema, nausea, vomiting, alopecia, cognitive impairment, deep vein thrombosis, and pain are joint cancer therapy side effects. Fatigue, depression, and appetite loss are among the side effects. Cancer patients can use many methods to reduce physical and psychological symptoms. To reduce symptoms, people can use medication and oxygen. Pharmaceuticals can relieve physical symptoms, while oxygen can reduce breathlessness. Patients may seek emotional support from family and friends to manage the disease’s psychosocial effects (Brook, 2020).
Factors Affecting the Annual Rates of Death and Incidence of Different Cancers in the United States
The main factors contributing to high cancer death rates in the United States are primarily related to lifestyle decisions. The aforementioned factors include being overweight or obese, quitting smoking, and not exercising.
Use of tobacco
The public’s health in the United States is seriously threatened by tobacco use. One of the most common habits among Americans is smoking cigarettes, which has been linked to approximately 440,000 cancer-related premature deaths every year. Nooreldeen & Bach (2021) estimate that smoking causes 30% of cancer-related deaths. Smoking is associated with the development of eight different types of cancer: malignancies of the lung, pancreas, bladder, kidney, pharynx, larynx, and esophagus. Furthermore, it has been found that smoking is linked to leukemia and colon stomach tumor formation.
Lack of Exercise
Numerous emotional and physical benefits, including a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and early death, are linked to physical activity. Regular physical activity has been demonstrated to lower the risk of endometrial, colon, and rectal cancer. Interestingly, exercise is a crucial supplement to diet control in order to avoid gaining weight and is necessary in order to keep the weight off after intentional weight loss. According to Rawla, Sunkara, and Barsouk (2019), inadequate physical activity is linked to a significant percentage—roughly 15 percent—of lung, colorectal, and breast cancers in the United States.
Overweight and Obesity
Empirical research suggests that over 70% of Americans suffer from obesity or overweight problems (Rawla, Sunkara, & Barsouk, 2019). Numerous types of malignancies have been found to occur more frequently and to have higher fatality rates when an individual is obese. These include the use of female hormones in the management of uterine and breast cancers, the examination of insulin pathways in the context of colon cancer, and other cancers that arise in various anatomical sites. To effectively reduce the incidence and death rates associated with various forms of cancer, it is necessary to give priority to mitigating the three hazards mentioned above.
How the American Cancer Society (ACS) Might Provide Education and Support
The primary objective of the American Cancer Society is to provide comprehensive support and help to individuals navigating the complexities of their cancer journey. In addition to assistance, societal resources are also allocated towards supporting the relatives of cancer patients. The American Cancer Society (ACS) ensures that the cancer patients are supported. These services encompass patient services, support groups, medical equipment, social services, provision of wigs and prostheses, transportation services, accommodation assistance, and financial initiatives. In addition to its other endeavors, the society disseminates cancer-related educational materials by publishing patient education brochures, professional journals, books, and pamphlets. The educational resources provided center around distinct forms of malignancies, strategies for prevention, and techniques for managing the associated challenges.
Recommendations for these patients and why
As a nurse, I highly recommend availing oneself of the following services: the online community, transportation help for medical care, and housing accommodations. The American Cancer Society Cancer Survivors Network facilitates the exchange of practical advice, personal stories, and the cultivation of hope among individuals affected by cancer (Lovelace et al., 2019). The online community, which is accessible without charge, was established with the specific purpose of providing support and resources for those diagnosed with cancer and their respective families. Lodging services are particularly advantageous for patients undergoing cancer treatment at a considerable distance from their residence and require accommodations during this period. Moreover, transportation services provided to patients play a crucial role in addressing their challenges while accessing treatment facilities.
Use of the Nursing Process in Providing Safe and Effective Care for Cancer Patients
Five successive phases in the nursing process provide patient-centered cancer care. Jean Orlando created the nursing process in 1958 by fusing evidence-based recommendations, goal-directed services, critical thinking, and nursing intuition. Assessment, diagnosis, planning, execution, and evaluation are all steps in the nursing process. During assessment, the physician employs critical thinking and gathers data by conducting in-person interviews with patients or primary caregivers. In this environment, doctors gather patients’ physical, psychological, social, and spiritual data.
The Maslow hierarchy is used to determine an individual’s needs. Doctors evaluate patients to determine their health conditions (Lovelace et al., 2019). The third step is planning, where cancer patients set quantifiable, achievable goals. These goals include adherence to medicines, healthy eating, and emotional support. The fourth stage, implementation, differs per patient. In this phase, doctors monitor cancer patients for signs and symptoms and teach them how to manage and cope. Nurses encourage cancer patients to seek post-treatment care during this era. In the last step, nurses evaluate if treatment goals were met. Results are based on patient improvement, maintenance, or decline.
How does an interdisciplinary research approach build on the foundational nursing knowledge related to cancer research?
Cancer nursing research incorporates liberal arts, science studies, mathematics, and social and physical sciences to expand understanding. Cancer is complicated and requires more than biomedical expertise. The confluence of disciplines gives nurses a holistic view of cancer, its effects on people and communities, and effective treatments. Liberal arts in trans-disciplinary cancer research illuminate human nature’s cultural, ethical, and social aspects. Art, literature, and philosophy help nurses grasp cancer’s emotional and existential dimensions, fostering empathy and patient-centered treatment. The interdisciplinary approach recognizes that cancer impacts people psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. Science studies critique cancer research approaches. Preconceptions, biases, self-awareness, and introspection must be critically assessed during the study. Nursing researchers might strengthen their approaches with science philosophy to ensure scientific rigor and ethical integrity. This promotes ethical and honest field research. Cancer research uses mathematics for data analysis, modeling, and statistical inference (Lovelace et al., 2019). Using quantitative tools, nurses and mathematicians improve epidemiological studies, treatment outcome prediction, and cancer incidence and prevalence.
Precise measurements increase cancer care by increasing nurse treatment evidence. In interdisciplinary cancer research, social sciences study sociocultural elements that affect health outcomes, inequalities, and cancer prevention and treatment policy. Nurses can study cancer’s social environment to learn how socioeconomic, cultural, and structural differences affect patients’ outcomes. Biophysics and biochemistry explain cancer’s molecular mechanisms. This knowledge is essential for creating accurate therapeutic approaches and individualized treatment programs that match nurse interventions with cancer research. Nursing incorporating liberal arts, science studies, mathematics, and social and physical sciences helps cancer research. Nurses can better treat cancer and advance the field with this holistic approach.
In summary, it is imperative to adopt a personalized approach to providing care for cancer patients, one that is closely aligned with the unique needs and circumstances of each patient. The TNM system is employed for the purpose of categorizing cancer staging, wherein stages I through IV are ascertained by considering the tumor’s location, involvement of lymph nodes, and presence of metastasis. In the context of cancer diagnosis, medical practitioners commonly employ tissue sampling techniques and diagnostic imaging modalities. Numerous factors contribute to the rising incidence and death rates of different forms of cancer in the United States. This group includes issues such as being overweight or obese, abusing tobacco, and not getting enough exercise. By providing cancer patients with educational materials and a range of support services targeted at improving their general well-being, the American Cancer Society plays a critical role in helping them. The utilization of the five stages of the nursing process is crucial in delivering comprehensive, patient-centered care to those diagnosed with cancer.
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