Assignment: Nursing Cancer Patients Case Study 

Assignment: Nursing Cancer Patients Case Study

Assignment: Nursing Cancer Patients Case Study 

Nursing Cancer Patients Case Study Sample

            Cancer is one of the noncommunicable diseases with increasing incidence in the modern world. Factors such as lifestyle and behavioral, family, and genetics predispose the population to cancer. Early diagnosis and treatment are important for cancer eradication and improved survival rate. Therefore, this paper examines cancer diagnosis and staging, complications and side effects, role of the American Cancer Society, use of the nursing process in cancer care, and importance of liberal arts and science in nursing education and practice.

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Diagnosis and Staging of Cancer

            The diagnosis of cancer is achievable using several interventions. One of them is history taking and physical examination. Physicians obtain information about potential pointers of cancer such as family history, lifestyle and behaviors, and personal history of cancer risk factors. They also obtain subjective data about the appearance, size, color, diameter, and any abnormal elevations of abnormal growths. History taking provides subjective data that will guide additional investigations for cancer diagnosis. Physicians also utilize physical examination techniques in cancer diagnosis. This includes inspection, palpation, percussion, and auscultation. Diagnostic and laboratory investigations also guide cancer diagnosis. Laboratory investigations such as complete blood count can aid in the diagnosis of cancers such as leukemia. Imaging tests such as computerized tomography, bone scan, and x-ray can help in locating cancer tumors, spread, and tissue invasion (The American Cancer Society, 2018). Biopsies also helps in determining the existence of abnormal cancer cells.

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            Cancer staging provides insights into the spread or invasiveness of cancer in the patient’s body. The staging also guides the treatment approach adopted to treat and prevent further spread of cancer cells. Different staging systems are utilized in cancer. One of them is TNM staging, which focuses on the size and extent of tumor, lymph nodes affected, and if cancer metastasis has occurred. Abbreviations such as T1, T2, T3, and T4 provide information about the extent of main tumor spread with the higher the number implying invasiveness of the tumor to the nearby tissues. The other approach to staging cancer uses stages 0-IV. Stage 0 implies that cancer cells have not metastasized to nearby tissues while stage IV translates into cancer that has extensively metastasized to other body parts. The other cancer staging approach classifies cancer as either in situ, localized, regional, distant, or unknown (The American Cancer Society, 2018).

Complications of Cancer

            Cancer has considerable complications on the affected populations. One of them is cardiac tamponade. Cardiac tamponade arises from the increased fluid in the pericardial sac. Tumors compress the pericardial sac, leading to pericarditis and myocarditis. Patients experience symptoms such as decreased cardiac output, jugular venous distention, pulsus paradoxus, dysrhythmias, and even death (Sawada et al., 2021). Cancer also predisposes patients to increased intracranial pressure. Brain tumors may exert pressure on the cerebral spinal fluid, brain, and cerebral blood vessels, leading to an elevated intracranial pressure. Untreated intracranial pressure may cause brain herniation and even death. The additional factors that may cause a rise in intracranial pressure include cerebral hemorrhage, infection, or hematomas (Takahashi & Isogawa, 2018). Symptoms that nurses should watch in increased intracranial pressure include nausea, headache, change in level of consciousness, vomiting, and seizures.

            Spinal compression is the other complication of cancer. Spinal compression arises from epidural space neoplasms that compress the spinal cord and its structures. Metastasis to the spinal cord also causes this complication. The effects of spinal cord compression include neural tissue damage, ischemia, and edema. Patients suffer from permanent neurological deficits that include loss of bladder and bowel control and paralysis. The early symptoms of spinal cord compression include pain, sensory loss, and motor weakness (Mattie et al., 2021). The other cancer complication is superior vena cava syndrome. The syndrome arises from the obstruction of venous blood flow in the superior vena cava. The compression may be attributable to factors such as lymph nodes, tumors, and vessel thrombosis (Hinton et al., 2018). Patients experience symptoms such as periorbital edema and jugular venous distention.

Side Effects and Lessening Physical and Psychological Effects

            Cancer treatment is associated with several side effects. One of them is immunosuppression. Cancer treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy predispose patients to bone marrow suppression. The suppression increases the risk of infection, thrombocytopenia, and anemia. Cancer treatment also causes bodily changes such as alopecia. Alopecia affects the psychological health and wellbeing of cancer patients (Mohan et al., 2019). Patients also suffer from gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Patients are also at an increased risk of body edema, gingivitis, oral mucosa dryness, oral sores, constipation, flu, and delirium. Additional side effects include menstrual changes, fatigue, lymphedema, constipation, and memory loss (Glibka et al., 2022).

            Several interventions can be explored to lessen these effects. One of them is providing patient food at room temperature to enhance appetite and intake. Patients should also eat small meals regularly throughout the day to overcome nausea and vomiting. They should also brush their teeth in the afternoon rather than morning to enhance appetite. Foods should also not be too spicy. Medications such as ondansetron are also necessary to overcome nausea and vomiting. Blood transfusion is indicated in cases where patients develop anemia (Schirrmacher, 2019). Patients’ education should also focus on ensuring that they balance between rest and activities. Neutropenic and bleeding precautions should also be implemented due to immunosuppression.  Additional interventions such as providing wigs to patients experiencing alopecia help in promoting their psychological wellbeing (Nurgali et al., 2018). Therefore, nurses should actively explore interventions that address the physical and psychological effects of cancer in their patients.

Factors Contributing to Yearly Incidence and Mortality Rates

            The yearly incidence of cancer has been rising in the USA. Estimates show that 1752735 new cancer cases were diagnosed in 2019. This number rose to 1806590 in 2020. The number of people dying from cancer also rose in 2020 to 606520 from 599589 in 2019 (CDC, 2022; NCI, 2020). The rise in yearly incidence of cancer is attributable to some factors. One of them is the increased utilization of cancer screening services by the population. Despite being below the national target, the uptake of cancer screening services in America has been high over the years. For example, Sabatino et al., (2022) found that breast cancer screening utilization was 76.4%, cervical cancer 68.3%, and colorectal cancer 81%. The high rate of screening services utilization for cancer increases cancer incidence. The other contributing factor to the yearly incidence is the elimination of barriers to cancer screening and treatment. The adoption of regulations such as the Affordable Care Act increased access to cancer screening services for the population. Consequently, increased uptake of screening services and treatment elevates the yearly incidence.

            The yearly mortality rate due to cancer has been declining in America. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a decline in cancer death rate between 2001 and 2020. The mortality rate decreased by 27% from 196.5 in 2001 to 144.1 in 2020 (CDCBreastCancer, 2022). The decline in cancer mortality rates is attributed to some factors. One of them is the increased uptake of cancer screening services, which leads to diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Precision medicine in cancer has also improved survival rates and prognostic outcomes. Medicine and technological advancements over the past years have led to improved treatment outcomes for various types of cancers in the country (Howlader et al., 2020). The population is also increasingly becoming aware of cancer, its causes, prevention, and management (Staples et al., 2018). As a result, they embrace healthy lifestyles, behaviors, and decisions, which reduce cancer burden among those affected and at risk.

Role of the American Cancer Society

            The American Cancer Society is an institution developed to provide cancer patients, their significant others and affected communities the support they need in disease management. The organization provides education and support to those in need 24 hours, 7 days a week. The education and support help patients and their significant others to have a positive experience with cancer. The organization also has a helpline that patients can use to seek accurate information about cancer. Patients and the population can also access information about different types of cancers, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and treatment effects. It also offers information about coping with cancer, pain control, prevention, quitting tobacco use, and screening. Besides this information, patients access different resources that help them in cancer management. They include patient services, support groups, social services, wigs and prostheses, transportation, financial programs, lodging, and medical equipment (ACS, n.d.). Patients utilize these services to lower the overall cancer burden facing them.

            One of the services by the American Cancer Society that I would recommend to cancer patients and their significant others is social support groups. Cancer has immense psychological, physical, and emotional impact on patients and their significant others. It predisposes patients to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. As a result, patients and their significant others require social, emotional, and psychological support (Howlader et al., 2020). Social support groups can provide them with these services. They provide them the opportunities to interact with other cancer patients and survivors, express their emotions and experiences, and learn best ways of cancer management (Yang et al., 2019). An effective utilization of social support programs will help patients cope with the increasing care needs of cancer.

Utilization of Nursing Process

            Nursing process steps are applicable for use in the delivery of safe and effective care for cancer patients across the life span. The first step is assessment. Nurses utilize assessment to identify patients’ subjective experiences with cancer. Assessment provides information that nurses utilize in formulating diagnoses, planning, monitoring, and evaluating effectiveness of care (Toney-Butler & Thayer, 2022). Nurses also obtain objective data to validate subjective data and develop accurate diagnosis on the actual and potential needs of cancer patients. Nurses also utilize diagnosis to ensure delivery of safe and effective care for cancer patients. A diagnosis is a clinical judgement of the actual or potential needs of cancer patients, their significant others, and the community. Nurses develop nursing diagnoses that identify the prioritized and potential needs of cancer patients (Mousavinasab et al., 2020). The diagnoses guide the plans of care that would be adopted to promote the health and wellbeing of cancer patients.

            Nurses also utilize planning in the delivery of safe and effective care for cancer patients across life span. Planning entails the development of goals and outcomes that should be achieved in the patient care process. Nurses develop patient-specific goals and outcomes that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-oriented. They utilize the goals and outcomes to ensure efficient resource utilization and quality improvement in cancer care (Mousavinasab et al., 2020). Nurses also utilize implementation phase of the nursing process in caring cancer patients. They put into action the developed plans to meet the identified care needs. They also adopt interventions such as interdisciplinary collaboration in the implementation for optimum outcomes in cancer care. Nurses utilize evaluation to determine if the desired care outcomes were achieved or not (Toney-Butler & Thayer, 2022). The evaluation data informs the improvements in cancer care plan.

Undergraduate Education

            Undergraduate education in liberal arts and science contributes to the foundation of knowledge and prepares nurses to work with patients utilizing the nursing process in several ways. First, it prepares nurses have competencies they need in addressing diverse needs of their patients. Nurses can function in diverse disciplines as researchers, leaders, nurse advocates, and patient carers for the delivery of high-quality care (Copeland, 2022). The education on liberal arts also transforms nursing education and practice. It equips nurses with competencies to work collaboratively with other healthcare providers to meet the needs of the evolving, complex healthcare system. Undergraduate in liberal arts and science also strengthen the critical thinking and decision-making skills of nurses. Nurses understand the interrelationship between the different factors that influence patient’s health and experience with a disease. Education in liberal arts and science also improve the communication skills, global thinking, and diversity navigation by nurses (Kooken & Kerr, 2018). As a result, nurses can deliver care that is appropriate to diverse needs of the patients they care in their practice.


            In summary, cancer diagnosis and staging facilitate the determination of cancer severity and treatment. Cancer is associated with considerable complications and side effects. Nurses should explore interventions to minimize cancer side effects. The American Cancer Society provides information and resources for cancer patients. Nurses utilize the nursing process to provide safe, high-quality, and effective care to cancer patients. Education in liberal arts improve the competencies of nurses to promote optimum outcomes in cancer patients.


ACS. (n.d.). How We’re Providing Support. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from

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Copeland, D. (2022). Liberal arts and ethics education in nursing: A national survey. Journal of Professional Nursing, 42, 73–88.

Glibka, A. A., Mazurina, N. V., & Troshina, E. A. (2022). Endocrine side effects during cancer treatment. Lecture for practitioners. Consilium Medicum, 24(6), 416–421.

Hinton, J., Cerra-Franco, A., Shiue, K., Shea, L., Aaron, V., Billows, G., Al-Hader, A., & Lautenschlaeger, T. (2018). Superior vena cava syndrome in a patient with locally advanced lung cancer with good response to definitive chemoradiation: A case report. Journal of Medical Case Reports, 12(1), 1–6.

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Kooken, W. C., & Kerr, N. (2018). Blending the liberal arts and nursing: Creating a portrait for the 21st century. Journal of Professional Nursing: Official Journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 34(1), 60–64.

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Assessment Description
The nursing process is a tool that puts knowledge into practice. By utilizing this systematic problem-solving method, nurses can determine the health care needs of an individual and provide personalized care.

Write a paper (1,750-2,000 words) on cancer and approach to care based on the utilization of the nursing process. 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.
Discuss what factors contribute to the yearly incidence and mortality rates of various cancers in Americans.
Explain how the American Cancer Society (ACS) might provide education and support. What ACS services would you recommend and why?
Explain how the nursing process is utilized to provide safe and effective care for cancer patients across the life span. Your explanation should include each of the five phases and demonstrate the delivery of holistic and patient-focused care.
Discuss how undergraduate education in liberal arts and science studies contributes to the foundation of nursing knowledge and prepares nurses to work with patients utilizing the nursing process. Consider mathematics, social and physical sciences, and science studies as an interdisciplinary research area.
You are required to cite to a minimum of four sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and relevant to nursing practice.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.

Benchmark Information

This benchmark assignment assesses the following programmatic competencies:


2.1: Incorporate liberal arts and science studies into nursing knowledge.

3.1 Utilize the nursing process to provide safe and effective care for patients across the life span.

Rubric Criteria

Diagnosis and Staging of Cancer
37.5 points

Complications of Cancer, Side Effects of Treatment, and Methods to Lessen Effects
37.5 points

Factors Contributing to Incident and Mortality Rates of Various Cancers in Americans
37.5 points

American Cancer Society (ACS)
37.5 points

Utilization of Nursing Process Across the Life Span (B)
37.5 points

Contribution of Liberal Arts and Science Studies to Nursing Knowledge (B)
12.5 points

Thesis Development and Purpose
12.5 points

Argument Logic and Construction
12.5 points

Mechanics of Writing (includes spelling, punctuation, grammar, language use)
12.5 points

Paper Format (use of appropriate style for the major and assignment)
5 points

Documentation of Sources
7.5 points

250 points

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