Caring for a Patient with Cancer

Caring for a Patient with Cancer

Harold is a 75-year old-male who has stage III Non-smell cell lung cancer (NSCLC). He lives on a farm with his son John. He is receiving treatment which includes concurrent administration of systemic chemotherapy and thoracic radiotherapy. He has been experiencing multiple physical symptoms related to his diagnosis and treatment. Caring for a patient with Cancer

 There were approximately 145 000 people diagnosed with cancer this year in Australia. It is estimated that 1 in 2 men and women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85. It is also the leading cause of death in Australia. It is for this reason that cancer control is regarded as a national priority. All nurses will experience caring for a patient with cancer throughout their career. Understanding the important elements of cancer care and cancer control are therefore essential for all nurses.

 Your Task:

Use the Clinical Reasoning Cycle on the following pages to review the nursing priorities in relation to the care of Harold.

Now we shall step through the CRC in relation to Harold’s case to prepare you for the workbook assessment questions. Before you begin read the module about lung cancer from the EdCan site: 


 For further information about Harold and his diagnosis follow the video links below: Video 1 – Meet Harold https://youtu.be/8NWANPAcSSs

 Video 2 – Post treatment and discharge https://youtu.be/QqGz8uAz6CU

 Video 3 – John’s (Harold’s son) story  https://youtu.be/RdEnJO3CeWM

 Video 4 – Supportive Care https://youtu.be/j3a684UoGMQ Based on your understanding of Harold so far: 

1: Prevention and ScreeningQuestion 1: 

Some cancers have a strong relationship with certain lifestyle factors. There are many prevention programs that are promoted in the media, healthcare facilities and other cancer organisations in Australia. Using evidence, identify and discuss one (1) cancer prevention program you are aware of that is used in Australia.  (3 marks)

 Question 2:

Early detection is the key for increased survival in most cancers. Some cancers can be screened for to facilitate early diagnosis. Identify (2) cancers that can be screened for and discuss how screening for these cancers is performed.  (4 marks)

2: Diagnosis & Treatment

Question 3: 

Harold has recently had a CT scan that indicated he had a diagnosis of lung cancer. Identify (2) clinical signs and symptoms that would also indicate that Harold might have lung cancer and explain the pathophysiology of these.  (4 marks)

Question 4: 

Harold has been diagnosed with Non-Small Cell Lung cancer (NSCLC).  

  1. Describe the anatomy and physiology of NSCLC. (2 marks)
  2. Discuss the implications for Harold of having a diagnosis of NSCLC commenting on prognosis and the impact of treatment on his quality of life. (4 marks)
  3. Discuss two (2) challenges Harold faces as a person living in a rural community diagnosed with cancer. (2 marks)

Question 5:

Harold is receiving chemotherapy for his lung cancer.

  1. Review National Standard 3 (Preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infections). Describe and justify why people undergoing chemotherapy are at higher risk of getting health care associated infections. (2 marks)
  2. Name and justify two (2) side effects Harold might experience when receiving chemotherapy. (2 marks)
  1. State and justify two (2) interventions (nursing or collaborative, NOT referrals to allied health professionals) to minimise the effects of each stated side effect. (4 marks)
  2. Discuss how you would evaluate that each intervention was effective (2 marks)

Question 6:

In the case study it is identified that Harold’s corrected serum calcium is high. This is a common complication for patients with advanced cancer and can become a medical emergency.

  1. State the normal adult values (in mmol/L) for serum calcium and discuss (2) clinical effects of a high serum calcium. (3 marks)
  2. Identify two (2) interventions to manage an increased serum calcium level and discuss their mode of action (4 marks)

 Question 7:

Given Harold’s complex condition and care requirements. Write (2) short-term goals for Harold in SMART format.(2 marks)

3: Providing patient centred psychosocial care

Question 8:

Lung cancer is associated with significant stigma due to its relationship with smoking. Discuss and justify two (2) communication strategies that you could use when interacting with a person affected by lung cancer to reduce the potential impact of stigma. (4 marks)

Question 9: 

Harold discusses concerns about his finances. Describe how you as a nurse would provide good psychosocial, patient centred care for Harold in relation to his financial concerns.   (2 marks)  6: Support for people at the end stages of life   

 Question 10:

  1. Define what is meant by palliative care and justify its role in caring for patients with cancer and other life limiting illnesses. (2 marks)
  2. Using evidence, identify two (2) interdisciplinary team members in a palliative care team and justify their role in the context of Harold’s care and his social environment. (4 marks)
  3. Harold is experiencing ongoing thoracic pain and dyspnoea. Describe the pathophysiological basis of these symptoms in end stage lung cancer. (2 marks)
  4. Discuss (2) evidence-based palliative interventions to manage the pain and dyspnoea. (2 marks)

Marks allocated as per marking rubric in task assessment booklet All answers should be justified and referenced appropriately (5 marks).

All answers should be written in academic format (5 marks).

62 marks

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