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Colorectal cancer - Essay Example

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Colorectal cancer

The main side effect exhibited in John in the case study is general fatigue, which may be attributed to the fluorouracil administered to him. The relationship between such side effect and fluorouracil can be accounted for by how it works in that its most effective at killing cells that are rapidly dividing (cancerous cells) (Knowles, 2007).  Unfortunately it does not know the difference between the cancerous cells and the normal cells and thus normal cells are adversely affected. Although the normal cells will grow back and be healthy in the meantime side effect in which case fatigue occur.  The "normal" cells most commonly affected by fluorouracil are the blood cells which account for a drop in hemoglobin levels as can be said of John which dropped to 100 from the normal level of 130-180/liter of blood. Interventions to Manage side effect experienced by John Cancer-related fatigue, defined by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) as a persistent, subjective sense of tiredness related to cancer or cancer treatment that interferes with usual functioning of an individual can be described in terms of perceived energy, mental capacity, and psychological status (Choo, 2008). It arises over a continuum, ranging from tiredness to exhaustion. By contrast however with the tiredness sometimes felt by a healthy individual, cancer-related fatigue is perceived as being of greater magnitude, disproportionate to activity or exertion and not completely relieved by resting, leaving the patient with an overwhelming and sustained sense of exhaustion (Australia, 2009). Fatigue is one of the most prevalent and distressing common side-effect of many of the cancer treatments available for the management of malignant disease as John is currently experiencing. Critical Assessment of Various Interventions There are various interventions that can be used to deal with the same as here below described. Non-pharmacological interventions Education Research has documented the beneficial effects of providing patients with preparatory knowledge, including sensory information, about their disease and treatment. If patients receive valid information about what to expect, they are more likely to develop accurate expectations and are less likely to experience the stress that accompanies unforeseen problems. For example, uninformed patients often interpret fatigue to mean that their cancer treatment is not working or that their disease is progressing. With appropriate educational grounding therefore, patients can prepare for side-effects and adopt management strategies (Council N. H., 2008). Exercise In the management of fatigue, exercise is the intervention with the most supporting evidence of effectiveness. The theory supporting exercise as treatment for fatigue proposes that the combined toxic effects of cancer treatment and a decreased degree of physical activity during treatment cause a reduction in the capacity for physical performance (Australian Government, 2005). When patients must use greater effort and expend more energy to succeed in daily activities, fatigue levels increase. Exercise training leads to a reduction in the loss or even an increase in functional capacity, leading to reduced effort and decreased fatigue. All research work on effectiveness of exercise in managing cancer-related fatigue indicate significantly lower levels of fatigue in individuals who exercised than ...Show more


COLORECTAL CANCER Name of Tutor Subject April 14, 2013 Role of Fluorouracil and John’s side effect Fluorouracil is an anti-cancer (antineoplastic or cytotoxic) chemotherapy drug.  It is classified as an antimetabolite and is administered for treatment of Colon and rectal cancer, breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers among other forms of cancer (Center, 2009)…
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Colorectal cancer essay example
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