APPROACH TO CARE FOR CANCER 1
Approachto Care for Cancer
Approachto Care for Cancer
Beforefocusing on the approach to care for cancer it is important to lookinto its diagnosis. It is the affected tissue that often undergoes abiopsy the surgical removal of a small portion of tissue from anindividual. It is through the biopsy that doctors observe thepresence or absence of tumors. In the event where they are present,the doctor observes whether they are cancerous or not. Canceroustumors are often referred to as malignant while those that arenon-cancerous are known as benign (Gearhart & Ahuja, 2010). Asaforementioned the diagnosis of cancer should be looked into beforeconcentrating on the approach to care. Additionally the stages ofcancer, the complications, the side effects of the treatment, and theways to curb effects of cancer should be discussed. Theaforementioned order should be followed in order to realize theeffective approach to care for cancer (Deslauriers et al., 2013).
Itis the results of the diagnosis that often determine the next step inwhich the patients should take. In the event the tumor is malignantthe doctor is required to remove it, and observe its fatality. Inaddition, it is important for the doctor to also observe the rate atwhich the cancer is growing. Observation of the tumors takes placeunder a microscope. The fatal tumors often faintly resemble thenormal tissues or do not resemble them at all (Deslauriers et al.,2013). As opposed to those that are similar to the tissues, thesetumors exhibit a rapid growth, and quickly spread in the body. Abiopsy not only determines the presence of cancer but, also the typeof the cancer, and the behavior of the tumor.
Cancerstaging refers to the process in which the physicians are able tolearn the extent in which the cancer has affected an individual’ssystem. It is through the staging that the doctor learns how far thecancer has spread in the body. According to, there are four stages ofcancer In situ, local, regional, and distant. In situ stage refersto the early cancer that has not spread to other surrounding tissues.The local stage is present in the organ in which the cancer emanatedfrom. The regional stage is where the cancer has spread to otheradjacent tissues. The last stage distant comes about when thecancer has spread to the whole system (Liu et al., 2012). As cancersbegin to spread they are classified apropos of the extent to whichthey spread in the body. According to the medical community there isalso the classification of the stages of cancer. The stages are stage1, stage 2, stage 3, and stage 4. These stages are similar inrelation to the aforementioned stages. It should be noted howeverthat the in situ stage falls under stage 0. The rest of the stagesare at par, and follow each consecutively as above mentioned(Gearhart & Ahuja, 2010).
Stagingis important because all cancers are different. The way in which onecancer spreads is not the way in which the other spreads. For thisreason, it is mandatory to observe the stages of cancer. Other thanby the use of a biopsy staging may be realized by the use ofMagnetic Resonance Imagining (MRI), a computed tomography (CT scan),X-rays, blood tests or surgeries. The process of staging is importantbecause it assists in determining the cause of the cancer, thefatality of the cancer, and the stage of the cancer (Liu et al.,2012).
Afterdiagnosis, and staging there are various complications of cancerobserved depending on the extent of the spread. Firstly, there ispain. In fact, pain is an inevitable complication in relation to mostdiseases. In as much as not all cancers are painful there are thosethat cause a lot of pain to an individual. In the event of pain,medications are prescribed in order to counteract this complicationbrought about by cancer. Moreover another major complicationobserved in regard to cancer is weight loss (Deslauriers et al.,2013). More often than not, cancer deprives an individual off foodnutrients, and it is in this manner that weight is lost. Unlikepain weight loss as a complication is difficult to repair in regardto cancer. Another major complication in relation to cancer is thatof change in chemicals in the body. Cancer is fatal as it alters thenormal balance of chemicals in the body. An imbalance in chemicalsoften results in more complications. Other complications brought onby cancer are nausea, fatigue, difficulty in breathing or disruptedbowel movements (Deslauriers et al., 2013).
Furthermoreother than chemotherapy, there are other ways in which cancer istreated. There is radiation therapy, and surgery. It is important toobserve that each of these treatments exhibit certain kinds ofside-effects. All of the treatment methods more or less give rise tothe similar side effects. Firstly, there is the presence of painwhich is a common side-effect especially regarding surgicalprocesses. In fact, pain is caused by cancer itself and is probablyworsened by the surgery. Also there is the presence of fatigue whicha common side-effect apropos of cancer, and its treatments. It isoften difficult to manage the fatigue that comes with cancertreatments because it is more intense as compared to the normalfeelings of tiredness that individuals experience. Fatigue is a majorside-effect, and it causes more distress as compared to the othereffects (Liu et al., 2012). Another common effect observed inrelation to cancer treatments is anemia. Anemia is fatal due to thefact that it involves low supply of oxygen to the cells.Consequently, an individual feels weary, weak, and tired. Radiationtherapy and surgery also results in the building up of the lymphfluid under the fatty tissues of the skin. As a result, an individualdevelops swellings in certain parts of the body (Gearhart &Ahuja, 2010).
Asobserved above there are many side-effects in relation to cancertreatments. Other than that, it is important to realize that otherthan physical effects there are psychological effects resulting fromdiagnosis of cancer. Handling, and learning to live with cancer isnot an easy thing thus, it is inevitable for individuals to exhibitpsychological effects. Those effects involve depression, anxiety,shock, and fear, feelings of neglect, vulnerability, and grief amongothers. Additionally it is important to note that there are ways inwhich the effects may be curbed whether psychological or physical.For physical effects, most of them are controlled by the use ofprescribed medicine (Gearhart & Ahuja, 2010). There are otherways in which individuals may control physical effects such asgetting enough rest, heaviness in body parts, among others but, themain one is medication. On the other hand, there are also ways inwhich psychological effects may be controlled. Seeking professionalcounseling, talking about one’s feelings, employing relaxationtechniques, among others are ways to control the psychologicaleffects (Deslauriers et al., 2013).
Afterdiagnosis, prognosis, staging of the cancer, and realization of theside effects the approach to care for cancer is looked into. Afterbeing admitted in hospital for a long time, or after surgerypatients are required to obtain top notch health care from thecomfort of homes. The professionals who offer to care for the cancerpatients at home are either volunteers or paid professionals. It iseasier for cancer patients to heal at home as compared to being inthe hospital. Most of them often require help with their day to dayactivities such as bathing, cleaning, and cooking. For this reason,the health care professionals are beneficial to them in many ways(Sheldon, 2010).
Insummation, when caring for a patient with cancer it is important toacquaint oneself with the symptoms of the disease. Knowing thesymptoms makes it easier when the caregivers are catering to thecancer patients. Additionally, these professionals are also trainedon observing severe symptoms that are beyond their control. Also, itis important for the caregivers to be able to reach the members ofthe cancer team at any given time. It is those individuals thatassist with the severe symptoms. For example when a patient exhibitsdifficulty in breathing, pain when eating, vomiting for more than 24hours, and is bleeding among others, they are required to contact thecancer team (Sheldon, 2010).
Deslauriers,J., Pearson, F. G., & Shamji, F. M. (2013). LungCancer, Part I.London: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Gearhart,S. L., & Ahuja, N. (2010). Colorectalcancer.Philadelphia: Saunders/Elsevier.
Liu,X.-Y., Pestka, S., & Shi, Y. (2012). Recentadvances in cancer research and therapy.Burlington: Elsevier Science.
Sheldon,L. K. (2010). Anurse`s guide to caring for cancer survivors.Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.