Nursing Process Approach to Care Cancer Essay

Nursing Process Approach to Care Cancer Essay

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. Nursing Process Approach to Care Cancer Essay. 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.


Advanced cancer care requires a team approach. Wang et al. (2016) assert that the delivery of high-quality cancer care begins with the primary principle that patient engagement is the foundation of high- quality care. In complex and incurable cancers, a typical gold treatment does not exist. Therefore, for patients with advanced cancers, focusing on inherent patient needs, values, and preferences is crucial in providing patient-centered and high-quality cancer care. In light of this, the essay below delves into cancer care based on the nursing process utilization. Specifically, it discusses the diagnosis and staging of cancer, cancer complications, side effects of treatment, and methods of lessening psychological and physical pain. It also details the factors causing yearly incidence and mortality rates of various cancers in America and the American Cancer Society’s role in providing education and support and the nursing process in cancer care. Lastly, the paper describes how undergraduate education in science and liberal arts contributes to the base of nursing knowledge.

Diagnosis and Staging of Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, physicians diagnose cancers using lab tests, biopsy, and imaging tests. Laboratory tests focus on tumor markers as cancer cells produce excess tumor markers. Imaging tests such as CT scans, MRI imaging, nuclear scans, bone scans, and X-rays assess the internal body structures to identify any tumors or abnormalities. In most cases, physicians do not need biopsies to diagnose cancer. Additionally, a physical examination may also be used to diagnose cancers. For instance, physicians may assess the patient to identify lumps that may be indicative of tumors. Here, abnormalities such as skin color changes and enlargement are noted.  However, physicians do not rely on physical assessment alone to an accurate cancer diagnosis. Nursing Process Approach to Care Cancer Essay.

According to Brierley et al. (2016), cancer staging designates the primary tumor’s extent by depth, size, or invasion of the adjacent body organs. As a process, staging determines the tumor’s location and its size to establish the most appropriate treatment option. Also, to select the best treatment option, cancer staging predicts the course that the tumor will take and the probability of the treatment to be successful. While each patient’s situation varies, cancers of the same types or stages have similar outcomes. Notably, not all types of cancers are staged. For instance, leukemia is a type of cancer affecting the blood cells and is typically spread to all body organs before it is detected.

In most cases, the cancer is staged when it is initially diagnosed and after initiation of treatment. Cancer staging is either clinical or pathological. While there are several staging systems for cancer, The TNM system is widely used. In this system, the physician determines the overall cancer stage as assigns the letter T to denote tumor, N to denote lymph nodes, and M to symbolize metastasis.

In the T category, the physicians look at the primary tumor to determine the body’s cancer location. Here, TX means that the tumor cannot be measured while T1 means that it cannot be located. This indicates that cancer cells are growing in cells where they started without infecting deeper tissues. A number after T, such as 1, 2, 3, or 4, are assigned to describe the tumor size and degree of spread. In the N category, lymph nodes are assessed to determine whether they have been infected by cancer. NX denotes no information in the lymph nodes, while NO means that the lymph nodes do not have cancer. The numbers 1, 2, and 3 after N denote the size, location, and the number of affected lymph nodes. In the M category, physicians assess tumor metastasis. MX means that no tumor is found, while M1 implies that cancer has spread to adjacent body organs.  Notably, every type of cancer has its version of the TNM categories. As such, the letters and numbers may not imply the same thing for all cancer types.

After determining T, N, and M’s values, they are amalgamated to identify the overall stage. Here, cancers are grouped into phase I to IV. A higher number indicates a large size and the degree of spread to nearby body organs. Higher stage cancers have spread to adjacent organs and require advanced treatment. Cancers may also have a stage 0, also known as carcinoma in situ, meaning that the cancer is still in cells where it initially started and has not spread further.

Complications of Cancer, Side Effects of Treatment, and Methods to Lessen Physical and Psychological Effects

Cancer patients are at risk of numerous emergencies associated with malignancy, metastasis, paraneoplastic process, or anti-cancer treatment. While these emergencies vary from minor to life-threatening, they have a mutual ground in that they warrant prompt attention and treatment to avert permanent injury. Common cancer complications are the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH), spinal cord compression (SCC), and anaphylactoid reaction. Cancer remains the most common cause of SIADH. The condition occurs when the body has excess antidiuretic hormone, which balances body fluids. In excess, the hormone causes water intoxication. Spinal cord compression is another critical complication of cancer.Nursing Process Approach to Care Cancer Essay.  Metastasis of the spine occurs in five percent of patients with cancer (Boussios et al., 2018). Anaphylactoid reaction is a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction that mostly happens to cancer patients receiving oxaliplatin therapy.

Cancer treatments may have several side effects that occur when cancer damages healthy body cells. Side effects differ depending on the patient and the types of medicines administered. Common side effects of cancer treatment are neutropenia, lymphedema, nausea and vomiting, hair loss, problems with thinking and memory, deep vein thrombosis, and pain. Other side effects include tiredness, depression, and trouble eating.

Cancer patients can use various approaches to reduce physical and psychological impacts. For instance, they can rely on medications and oxygen to reduce the severity of symptoms. Drugs reduce physical symptoms, while oxygen reduces feelings of breathlessness. To minimize the disease’s psychological impact, patients can lean on family and friends for emotional support.

Factors Contributing to the Yearly Incidence and Mortality Rates of Various Cancers in America

The majority of the factors contributing to high cancer mortality rates among Americans are lifestyle-related. These are tobacco use, physical inactivity, overweight, and obesity.

Tobacco use

In the US, tobacco is the scourge of public health. The use of tobacco among Americans through cigarette smoking causes about 440000 premature deaths from cancer every year. Smoking is also responsible for 30 percent of all cancer deaths (Douglas et al., 2018). Smoking is linked to eight cancers; lung, pancreatic, bladder, kidney, pancreatic, pharyngeal, laryngeal, and esophageal cancers. Tobacco has also been found to cause colon, stomach cancers, and leukemia.

Physical Inactivity

Physical activity is linked to numerous mental and physical benefits, including reductions in the risk of premature mortality, cardiovascular illnesses, hypertension, diabetes, and even cancer. Physical activity minimizes the risk of colon, rectal, and endometrial cancer. Importantly, physical activity is a crucial complement to dietary management to prevent weight gain and is vital for weight maintenance after intentional weight loss. According to Cannioto et al. (2018), approximately 15 percent of lung, colorectal, and breast cancers are attributed to a lack of physical activity in the US.

Overweight and Obesity

Research suggests that approximately 70 percent of the American population is obese or overweight (Trattner et al., 2017). Obesity contributes to the incidence and mortality rates of cancers in several ways. These include through female hormones for breast and uterine cancers, insulin pathways for colon cancer, and other cancers at different sites. Addressing the above three risk factors is essential to reduce the occurrence and mortality rates of various cancers. Nursing Process Approach to Care Cancer Essay.

How the American Cancer Society (ACS) Might Provide Education and Support

The American Cancer Society is devoted to guiding patients through their cancer experience. Besides helping patients, society’s resources are also dedicated to families of cancer patients. ACS provides support in several ways, including patient services, support groups, medical equipment, social services, wigs and prostheses, transportation services, lodging, and financial programs. The society also provides cancer-related education by publishing patient education brochures, professional journals, books, and pamphlets. These educational materials focus on specific types of cancers, prevention, and coping strategies.


Among the services I would recommend are the online community, rides to treatment, and lodging services. Through the American Cancer Society Cancer Survivors Network, cancer patients can share practical tips, experiences, and instill hope in one another. The online community is free and was created for cancer patients and their families. Lodging services are ideal for patients whose cancer treatment is far from home, and they need a place to stay. Additionally, rides to treatment assist patients who experience difficulties in the treatment centers.

Use of the Nursing Process in Providing Safe and Effective Care for Cancer Patients

The nursing process is a methodical guideline that promotes patient-centered cancer care using five steps. Developed by Jean Orlando in 1958, the nursing process is distinguished as a orderly approach to care using the central ideologies of critical thinking, goal-oriented services, nursing intuition, and evidence-based recommendations. The five steps of the nursing process are assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.

During the assessment phase, the physician utilizes critical thinking and data collection skills directly from the patient or primary caregivers. Here, physicians gather data on the patient’s physical, psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions. The Maslow hierarchy of needs is utilized to determine the patient’s needs. During diagnosis, the physician determines the patient’s actual or potential health problems (Leslie, 2018).  Planning is the third phase, which involves establishing measurable and achievable goals for cancer patients. Examples of these goals could be adhering to medications, consuming healthy diets, and providing emotional support.  The fourth stage is implementation, which is specific depending on each patient. In this stage, physicians monitor cancer patients to identify any symptoms while educating them on symptom management and coping strategies. Nursing Process Approach to Care Cancer Essay.  In this stage, nurses also encourage cancer patients to seek follow-up care. In the last stage, nurses evaluate whether the goals of treatment have been met. Here, outcomes are described in terms of patient improvement, stability, and deterioration.

Contribution of Undergraduate Education in Liberal Arts and Sciences to Foundation of Nursing Knowledge

The nursing practice serves to translate knowledge into practice. Healthcare professionals utilize a systematic approach to solving healthcare problems, identifying patients’ specific needs, and delivering individualized care. Sciences and liberal arts constitute a unique component of the nursing curriculum. They promote skills such as critical thinking, creativity, holistic care, and problem-solving (Kooken & Kerr, 2018). Additionally, liberal arts are applicable in nursing practice as they improve diversity, global thinking, and communication skills. Through sciences, nurses can identify health issues specific to a particular population. Overall, educating nurses on liberal arts and sciences encourage them to broaden their thinking and place them in a unique position to advance the nursing process.


In summary, the approach to care for cancer patients should be individualized and tied to individual patient’s needs. Cancer staging relies on the TNM system and is categorized into stage I to IV depending on the tumor’s location, metastasis, and the extent of spread to the lymph nodes. Physicians rely on diagnostic imaging and tissue biopsy to diagnose cancer. Various factors are attributed to the increased incidence and mortality of different cancers in America. They include obesity and overweight, tobacco abuse, and lack of physical activity. For cancer patients, the American Cancer Society is a crucial association that provides education and other support services to improve patients’ quality of life. Cancer patients’ approach to care should utilize the five steps of the nursing process to deliver patient-focused and holistic care. Nursing Process Approach to Care Cancer Essay.


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Leslie, J. L. (2018). Employment of the Nursing Process to Facilitate Recovery from Surgery: A Case Study. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(2).

Trattner, C., Parra, D., & Elsweiler, D. (2017). Monitoring obesity prevalence in the United States through bookmarking activities in online food portals. PLOS ONE, 12(6), e0179144.

Wang, S., Drye, B. D., & Cornett, P. A. (2016). The team approach to advanced cancer care—Redefining the gold standard. JAMA Internal Medicine, 176(8), 1062. Nursing Process Approach to Care Cancer Essay.