Nursing & Health Survival Guide: Cancer Care
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Understanding cancer is essential to providing effective nursing care to patients and families affected. This easy-to-use reference guide puts all the necessary information at your fingertips.
hormonal therapy. Hormone antagonists work with hormone-binding tumours of the breast, prostate and endometrium, blocking the hormone’s receptor site on the tumour, preventing it from receiving normal hormonal growth stimulation. These drugs do not cure, but cause regression of the tumour in approximately 40% of breast and endometrial tumours and in 80% of prostate tumours. Side effects can impair healing and may also lead to: • hyperglycaemia • hypertension • osteoporosis • hirsutism
the needs and preferences of the person being cared for. People with cancer should be given the opportunity to make informed decisions about care and treatment; this should be done in partnership with their healthcare professionals. • Good communication between healthcare professionals and people with cancer is essential. This should be supported by evidence-based written information adapted to the person’s individual needs. • Treatment and care, along with the information people are given
invaded (grown into) surrounding tissues Cell cycle The highly regulated sequence of events that a cell goes though when it grows Chemotherapy The treatment of disease, usually cancer, using drugs (chemical substances) Combination chemotherapy Treatment with more than one anticancer drug at a time Cytology The study of cells Diagnostic marker Something in the body or body fluid that can be tested for and which points to the presence of a particular type of cancer Dyskaryosis
rate of spread Does not grow abnormally Grows abnormally Usually encapsulated Non encapsulated Differentiated Undifferentiated Usually non life threatening (has the potential to become malignant) Can be life threatening SECTION SUMMARY Malignant and benign are two terms associated with cancer that can often be confused with each other; however they are different in meaning. Malignant refers to cancerous cells and can invade the tissues close to the surrounding area and spread. Benign
developing prostate cancer. Prostatic cancer cells are dependent upon testosterone. Excessive levels of insulin have been associated with cancers of the: • colon • uterus • pancreas • kidney Staging and grading of cancer When a person has been diagnosed with cancer they are usually told what stage the cancer is: this is a measure of how much the cancer has grown and spread. Grading refers to specific characteristics of the cancer cells: generally the earlier the stage and the lower the