Approach to the care of cancer
Approach to the care of cancer. Write a paper (900 – 1200 words) describing the approach to the care of cancer. In addition, 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.Diagnosis and Staging of Cancer
Approach to the care of cancer. Cancer causes different symptoms in patients. People with symptoms that last more than two months are advised to visit their doctors for further examination. Cancer is a leading killer disease that can affect anyone (Shehada, 2014). If medical tests do indicate any problem, more examinations are done to determine the stage of cancer. Stage refers to the degree of cancer, depending on factors such as whether it has spread to other parts of the body and its size. Once the doctor determines the stage, it is easy to create a treatment plan and more actions to stop it from spreading to other parts. Knowing the type of cancer and extent gives one control over the situation and dealing with the diagnosis.
Cancer causes several symptoms that only doctors can authenticate whether they result from cancer or other complications. Staging refers to the act of gathering information about different cancers such as the size of the tumor and treatment options. The stage of cancer determines the type of treatment a patient will undergo. Prognosis refers to the seriousness of cancer and the chances of survival. Unfortunately, some patients find out too late that they have cancer and nothing can be done for them. Hence, people are encouraged to undergo regular screening to help in early detection of cancer.
Staging helps doctors know the extent of cancer one has and its location in the body. For instance, the treatment plan for early cancer may be radiation or surgery. However, patients in advanced stages may need chemotherapy to avert the situation. When trying to determine the level of cancer in the body, the size of the tumor, growth and the spread are analyzed to assess the condition of the patient. Tumors near lymph nodes may be analyzed to gauge the health status of the patient. Doctors also analyze other parts of the body to determine whether cancer has spread. Different examinations are used to determine the stages of cancer (Ackerman, 2016). Depending on location, doctors can use imaging tests such as x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, or ultrasound to stage. A biopsy is used to confirm the diagnosis. Biopsies are done during surgeries where doctors remove small pieces of tumors through a needle. Main types of cancer staging include clinical staging and pathological staging. Clinical staging is an estimate of the degree of cancer depending on the outcomes of imaging tests, physical exams, and tumor biopsies. Clinical staging is helpful in determining the right treatment plan for patients. When surgeries are done, doctors can know pathological stages, which rely on findings of imaging tests and physical examinations. Clinical staging gives doctors more information to use to predict response to treatment.
Approach to the care of cancer. Complications of Cancer and Side Effects of Treatment
Cancer treatment has complications and side effects. Side effects occur when treatment causes problems to the patient, instead of relief. There may be complications after surgery, which makes it difficult for patients to go back to normal routines (Prat, 2014). Long-term side effects after surgery depend on the kind of cancer and its location in the body. People suffering from Hodgkin lymphoma undergo surgical spleen removal, and this exposes them to infections.
Moreover, survivors of bone cancers report emotional and physical complications after losing their limbs. Patients have a difficult time coming to terms with the loss of limbs. People who undergo abdomen or pelvis surgeries may not be fertile in the future.
Another complication of cancer is pain during treatment. Patients experience much pain in the course of treatment, especially if treatment is advanced. Patients bear the pain, which may not go away after treatment. Patients are only given painkillers to manage pain, and this does not eliminate the problem. Another complication of cancer is fear and anxiety. One cannot help but wonder what will happen to in future when diagnosed with cancer. Fear of the unknown is stressful and can prevent one from responding to treatment.
Common side effects of cancer include loss of appetite, anemia, excessive bleeding, constipation, and dehydration. Anemia makes one feel exhausted, have short breath, and feel lightheaded. One may feel dizzy and unable to do regular chores. Cancer treatment such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy tend to affect the bone marrow, thereby resulting in anemia. When the body does not produce enough red blood cells, an individual is said to be anemic (Davis, 2014). Constipation is a popular side effect of cancer treatment that some patients fail to report. Infrequent bowel movements are painful to deal with, and one may be bloated or have stomach cramps as well. Chemotherapy causes constipation and patients are advised to stay hydrated to avoid this problem. Eating foods rich in fiber and staying active are some of the steps patients can take to overcome constipation. Another side effect of cancer treatment is fatigue, where one feels extremely tired and unable to do anything. Immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy can cause fatigue and feeling run down. People are advised to balance work and rest and to eat well.
To lessen the physical and psychological side effects of cancer, families are advised to look after loved ones suffering from cancer or hire a professional to manage the symptoms. People who have cancer may have experience limitations in taking care of themselves, hence the need to have a caregiver around (Kyriazi, 2013). Moreover, ensuring that cancer patients eat balanced diets and stay hydrated are essential to good health. Furthermore, being surrounded by family members lessens psychological effects patients experience when suffering from cancer. Doctors should monitor patients regularly to ensure that they respond to treatment. If they are discharged, there should be regular visits to assess their condition.
Cancer is a killer disease that denies people the chance to live fruitful lives. Stages of cancer help in identifying locations and size of tumors. Doctors can use CT scans, MRIs, or X-Rays to determine whether patients have cancer. Complications of cancer include fear and anxiety, pain, and uncertainty of treatment results. Side effects include fatigue, dehydration, constipation, anemia, and loss of appetite. Maintaining a balanced diet, drinking fluids and resting help in alleviating effects of cancer.
Approach to the care of cancer. References
Ackerman, L. V., Del Regato, J. A., & Spjut, H. J. (2016). Cancer: diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis (Vol. 783). St. Louis: Mosby.
Davis, K. M., Kelly, S. P., Luta, G., Tomko, C., Miller, A. B., & Taylor, K. L. (2014). The associations of long-term treatment-related side effects with cancer-specific and general quality of life among prostrate cancer survivors. Urology, 84(2), 300-306.
Kyriazi, V., & Theodoulou, E. (2013). Assessing the risk and prognosis of thrombotic complications in cancer patients. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, 137(9), 1286-1295.
Prat, J., & FIGO Committee on Gynecologic Oncology. (2014). Staging classification for cancer of the ovary, fallopian tube, and peritoneum. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 124(1), 1-5.
Shehada, N., Brönstrup, G., Funka, K., Christiansen, S., Leja, M., & Haick, H. (2014). Ultrasensitive silicon nanowire for real-world gas sensing: noninvasive diagnosis of cancer from breath volatile. Nano letters, 15(2), 1288-1295.