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Approach to Care of Cancer - Essay Example

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Approach to Care of Cancer

Many cancers are initially recognized and diagnosed through screening or because of the appearance of certain signs and symptoms. The common cancer diagnostic procedures include imaging through X-rays, CT scans, endoscopy, genetic testing, tumor biopsy, surgery and various laboratory tests like blood tests, urinalysis and tests for tumors makers. Tumor makers are either substances that the body makes in response to cancer cells or are released into the urine or bloodstream by cancer cells (Moscow and Cowan, 2007). Biopsy involves a histological examination of abnormal body cells by a pathologist. The tissue diagnosis done by the pathologist reveals the type of cell proliferating, genetic abnormalities, the histological grade of the cell and other features of the tumors. Blood tests are used to confirm the substances levels in the blood. They show how healthy a person is and whether an infection is present. It reveals the status of the kidney and levels of waste products like blood urea nitrogen/creatinine. Urinalysis reveals the components of urine and checks the presence of blood, drugs, proteins and other substances in urine. Genetic testing is important in identifying mutations, chromosomal changes and fusion genes, and possible genetic predisposition. Cancer staging involves finding out how much cancer is in the body and its location. It describes how far it has spread anatomically and groups patients with the same prognosis and treatment in one staging. Stage I cancers are small, localized and curable, stage II and II cancers are locally advanced and/or with local lymph node involvement while stage IV cancers are metastatic o inoperable cancers. Doctors should first establish the cancer stage for each particular patient because to some extent, treatment and prognosis depend on the cancer stage. They should highly utilize information on cancer staging to plan for the treatment and help to individual patients. Patients falling to the same staging could be offered group support where possible to encourage compliance with treatment and alleviate psychological effects of diagnosis and treatments. Individual situations within a group should also be considered. Complications of cancer The first complication presented by cancer is that it might spread. The cancerous cells could invade and destroy other body organs rendering them dysfunctional. This requires the use of treatments that will destroy cancer cells and also prevent their spread. Other complications may be evident depending on the stage and type of the cancer. Systemic cancer is associated with neurologic complications which occur after routine chemotherapy. Brain metastases are the most prevalent of these and they manifest as altered mental status, headache, sensory loss, hemiparesis, impaired cognition and sensory, speech, visual, and gait disturbance. Lung cancer can result in heart diseases and breathing difficulties due to the presence of lumps or destruction of the air passage and heart tissues. Pancreatic cancer is associated with complications like jaundice due to blocked bile duct, severe abdominal pain due pressed nerves and bowel obstruction due to pressed or blocked intestine. Blood loss and/or anemia as a result of damaged hemorrhaging tissues and weight loss resulting from frequent nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite are ...Show more

Summary

Approach to Care of Cancer The diagnosis and staging of cancer Cancer refers to the uncontrollable growth of body cells. It occurs when the growth and division of cells occurs faster than normal, or when the cells forget to die when they no longer are needed by the body…
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