Approach to care of cancer
Write a paper (1,250-1,750 words) describing the approach to 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.
Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide,
Approach to care of cancer
Describe the diagnosis and staging of cancer
Diagnosis refers to the identification of nature of an illness or any other problem by doing examination of the signs portrayed.
The doctors when doing the diagnosis may order for the following: scans, lab test, and other tests and procedures.
The high or low levels of certain substances in the body can be a sign of cancer. Lab tests for the urine, blood, or other body fluids that can measure several of these substances can guide the doctors in the undertaking of diagnosis. Abnormal lab results cannot give a reliable sign of cancer. Test done in the Lab are the important tool, but the doctors cannot always rely on them in getting the exact diagnosis of cancer (Dicato, 2013).
These are the procedures that create pictures of the areas inside the body that will help doctors to see whether the tumor is present. The pictures will be created in several ways:
- CT Scan:
The process in which an x-ray machine is linked to a computer while taking a series of detailed pictures of organs (Dicato, 2013). In the process of CT scan, doctors can perceive either a dye or several other contrast materials in highlighting the areas which are found inside the body and within the organs. The Contrast material can help in making pictures easier to be read.
- Nuclear scan:
In this scan, the doctor receives an injection of small amounts of the radioactive material, that is more often called a tracer. This flows through the bloodstream and then collects in certain bones or the organs.Machine called scanner normally detects and does the measurements of the radioactivity. Scanner creates the pictures of bones or certain organs on computer screens or even on the film. The body releases the radioactive substances quickly. This type of scan is also called radionuclide scan (Hayat, 2009).
Ultrasound device sends the sound waves out that people cannot be able to hear. These waves bounce off the tissues inside the body in a form of an echo. Computer uses echoes in the creation of a picture of the areas that are inside the body. The picture produced is called sonogram.
A very strong magnet that is linked to a computer and is used in making the detailed pictures of different parts of the body. Doctors can view pictures on the monitor and then print them on the film (Hayat, 2009).
- PET scan:
This scan enables the receiving of an injection of tracer. Then, another machine makes the 3-D pictures which shows where tracer collects data about the body. The scans show how the body organs and the tissues are working.
The X-rays use low doses of the radiation in the creation of pictures of parts which are inside the body.
In the several occasions, doctors do the biopsy in making the diagnosis of cancer. It is the procedure in which doctors remove the sample of tissue. Pathologist looks at tissues under microscope to arrive at the conclusion about whether there is an existence of cancer. Sample can be removed in several ways as mentioned below:
- With needle: The doctor withdraws a tissue or even a fluid using a needle.
- With endoscope: The doctors can look at the areas inside body using the thin, lighted tube which is called an endoscope. Scope is placed through the natural opening, which includes parts like the mouth. Thereafter, the doctor can use a special tool in removing a tissue or a cells through that tube.
- With surgery: The Surgery can be incisional or the excisional.
- In excisional biopsy, surgeon removes entire tumor. Some of the normal tissues around tumor are often also removed.
- On the other hand, in incisional biopsy, surgeon normally removes just the parts of the tumor.
Stage refers to extent of cancer, describing how large or small the tumor is, as well as if the cancer has spread.
Cancer is characterized by the stages that were given at the diagnosis, either by getting worse or spreads. The New information concerning how cancer has greatly changed over time gets added in the original stage. Therefore, the stage does not change; despite the changes, cancer might take Place.
Systems that Describe Stage
There are several systems used for the staging of cancer. Some, include the TNM staging system which is used for the many types of the cancer. Other ones are specific to particular types of cancer. Most of the staging systems includes the information about:
- The location of the tumor in the body
- The type of the cell which includes the adenocarcinoma or the squamous cell carcinoma
- The tumor size
- the cancer spread to the nearby lymph nodes
- the cancer spread in different parts of the body
- The grade of the Tumor, referring to the abnormality the cancer cells show and the likeliness that the tumor is expected to grow and even spread.
TNM Staging System
TNM system is the most commonly used cancer system for staging. Most of the hospitals and the medical centers use the TNM system as the main method for cancer reporting. The cancer can be described by this type of staging system in the pathology report. Examples of the cancers with the different staging systems such as brain and the spinal cord tumors include the blood cancers (Rykovich, 2000).
In TNM system:
- T refers to the size and the extent of main tumor. Main tumor is called primary tumor.
- N refers to the numbers of the nearby lymph nodes which have the cancer.
- M refers to whether cancer has done the metastasized. Means that cancer has done the spread from primary tumor to the other body parts.
Cancer is described by TNM system, numbers are there after every letter giving more details on the cancer such as T1N0MX or the T3N1M0.
Primary tumor (T)
- TX: The Main tumor that cannot be measured.
- T0: he Main tumor that cannot be found.
- T1, T2, T3, T4: These refers to size or extent of main tumor. The higher, that is after the T, larger tumor or the more of it grows into nearby tissues. T’s may be divided further so as to provide several details, like T3a and the T3b.
Regional lymph nodes (N)
- NX: The Cancer in the nearby lymph nodes that cannot be measured.
- N0: There is no cancer in the nearby lymph nodes.
- N1, N2, and N3: Refers to number and the location of the lymph nodes containing cancer. The higher number after N, the more lymph nodes containing cancer.
Distant metastasis (M)
- MX: The Metastasis that cannot be measured.
- M0: The Cancer has not carried out the spread to the other body parts.
- M1:The Cancer has carried out the spread to other body parts.
Cancer and its treatment can cause several complications, including:
- Pain. Cancer causes pain but not all cancers can cause pain. Pain may be sharp or dull. Medications and other approaches that may successfully treat cancer-related pain (Rykovich,2000).
- Tiredness. Tiredness or fatigue is caused by many things but it can be prevented. Fatigue associated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy treatments is common, but it is normally short-lived.
- Shallow breathing. Cancer or cancer treatment may cause difficulties in breathing due to little supply of oxygen in the body.
- Vomiting. This refers to discomfort in the stomach. Sometimes doctors are able to know if the treatment can cause nausea or not. Medications and other treatments can assist to stop or prevent vomiting. It can be associated with headache, gas and fever.
- Diarrhea and constipation. This refers to regular passing of stool. Cancer and cancer treatment affect people’s regular toilet habits such as straining during bowel movements or painful pass.
- Reduction of the body mass. Cancer and cancer treatment may cause drastic reduction in weight. Cancer takes food from normal cells and denies them nutrients. This is normally not affected by the number of calories or the type of food taken. It is not an easy task to treat. In most cases, using artificial nutrition through tubes into the stomach or vein does not help improve body weight.
- Hormonal imbalance. Cancer can cause disturbance in chemical balance in the body and raise risk of severe complications. Signs and symptoms of chemical imbalances might include vomiting, regular urination, thirst and confusion.
- Complication in brain and nervous systems. Cancer can press on nearby nerves and cause pain and dysfunction of some parts of the body. Brain cancer can cause headaches and stroke-like signs and symptoms, such as weakness on one side of the body.
- Weird immune system respond to cancer. In some cases the body’s immune system may respond to the presence of cancer by battling healthy cells known as paraneoplastic syndrome, these are rare reactions that may lead to various signs and symptoms, such as difficulty in walking and brain problem.
- Spread of cancer to a new part of the body. This is also known as metastasis. As cancer advances, the cells may break away from original tumor and enter bloodstream which are then carried by blood to other body parts. Whether cancer spreads depends on the type of cancer.
- Cancer recurrence. Cancer can recur after treatment due to cells that remained. Some cancers are more likely to recur than others. Cancer survivors should ask their doctors what do to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. Doctors may devise a follow-up attention plan for them after treatment. This may include regular scans and exams in the months and years after treatment.
Dicato, Mario. Side Effects of Medical Cancer Therapy. 1st ed. London: Springer, 2013. Print.
Hayat, M. A. Colorectal Cancer. 1st ed. [Dordrecht]: Springer, 2009. Print.
Rykovich, Robert. Diagnosis, Cancer. 1st ed. Pittsburgh: CeShore, 2000. Print.
“Targeting Cancer Associated Fibroblasts For Cancer Immunotherapy”. Cancer Cell & Microenvironment (2014): n. pag. Web.