Approach to Care

Approach to Care

Benchmark – Nursing Process: Approach to Care

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:

  1. Describe the diagnosis and staging of cancer.
  2. Describe at least three complications of cancer, the side effects of treatment, and methods to lessen physical and psychological effects.
  3. Discuss what factors contribute to the yearly incidence and mortality rates of various cancers in Americans.
  4. Explain how the American Cancer Society (ACS) might provide education and support. What ACS services would you recommend and why?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.



Approach to Care

Cancer is regarded as one of the leading causes of deaths globally. According to the center for diseases control and prevention (CDC), it is the second leading cause of deaths in America. Further, in 2018, the American cancer society approximated an increase of 1735350 for new cancer diagnoses and over 600000 deaths resulting from the disease. The condition has been identified as one that affects everyone regardless of the age group, lifestyle, or social status. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding a sedentary life is necessary to avoid prolonging or worsening the condition. For health providers, providing quality patient-centered care is the first step in preventing deaths that result from the condition. This may be achieved with many approaches because every patient is unique and individualized (Mosher et al., 2014). As such, it is necessary for health providers to understand vital factors such as the diagnosis process, cancer stages, complications resulting from the condition, treatment side effects, and how they can be reduced.

The Diagnosis of Cancer

Although research is still being done on the causes of cancer, it is believed that it is caused by genetic and epigenetic alterations that causes abnormal multiplication of cells. Unlike normal cells, which divide, grow, and later die, cancer cells grow continuously and finally develop into a tumor. This may occur in different parts of the body, hence the various forms of cancer. According to the study conducted by the National Cancer Institute (2015), mo0re than 100 types of cancer have been identified, and these are categorized based on the location of the affected organ or tissue, which are also used in diagnosis.

Approach to Care

Various methods can be used to detect cancer, including routine examination, or screen test. The diagnosis is made based on the affected cell (Neal et al., 2015). Cancer is diagnosed based on the signs and symptoms that the patient presents. Other factors like degree, type and location of the cancer are first established before a diagnosis is conducted. Although the symptoms can be used in cancer detection, other methods like screening are more effective since the symptoms may take more time to develop. For a patient whose condition has progressed, the general symptoms include fatigue, fever, skin change, and unexplained weight loss. However, different forms of cancer present specific symptoms like bowel changes for cancer affecting the bowel (Mosher et al., 2014). Other symptoms to also look for include the inability to coordinate, coughing blood, seizure, and loss of sensation. After identifying the symptoms, the primary care provider also conducts further examination by obtaining family history, conducting lab work, physical examination, and scanning procedures. Early detection is highly advocated since it helps to save lives.

Staging of Cancer

After diagnosis, cancer staging is conducted depending on its severity and the percentage of the original tumor. Staging is an important step since it assists the doctor in developing the most effective treatment plan and correctly approximates the prognosis. It is also deemed significant by researchers and health providers who use the data from staging to communicate patient information and make necessary conclusions. Based on the anatomic positioning of the tumor, clinical staging is normally conducted by classifying it into one of the four stages which range from 0 to 4. Stage 0 is classified as cancer in situ; stage 1 is a localized tumor growth, stage 2 has a limited spread in a local area, while at stage 3, it is spread extensively, and stage 4 is a metastasis. The stage 0-4 classification is mostly applicable in Hodgkin’s lymphoma and cervical cancer (Neal et al., 2015). Another classification is the TMN system, which shows the local extent of the tumor using three parameters; (T) Size and invasiveness, (N) number of lymph nodes affected by cancer, and (M) to represent metastasized cancer. Other means of staging the magnitude of cancer involve the use of MRI and CT (National Cancer Institute, 2015). After diagnosis and staging, the health provider now goes ahead to discuss with the patients and family, the prognosis and complications of the condition.

Approach to Care

Cancer Complications and Side Effects During Treatment

Cancer complications vary depending on the patient’s health and may result from either the condition itself or the treatment process. Such complications resent both physical and psychological effects and mostly affect organ systems such as respiratory, digestive, excretory, circulatory, nervous, endocrine, integumentary skeletal, reproductive, and immune systems (National Cancer Institute, 2015). Depending on the type and diagnosis, some systems will be more affected compared to others.

The main complications resulting from cancer include pain metastasis and depression. As noted earlier, cancer complications can be classified as physical and psychological. For physical, pain is regarded as the most frightening complication; pain results from the tumor spreading to other nearby tissues exerting pressure to nearby nerves and eventually leading to nerve injury. After identifying the cause of pain, treatment is administered using opioids such as morphine and other pain medication. Patients may also experience other physical complications such as disability, metastasis, fatigue, and health impairment (American Cancer Society, 2018). Depression is also another complication that increases the patient’s risk of committing suicide. As such, cancer patients also undertake treatments for depression such as antidepressant medication. Besides depression, another dangerous cancer complication is metastasis. This occurs as a result of cancer cells spreading to other body parts through the lymphatic system. As noted in the reports by American Cancer Society, deaths related to cancer occur due to the cells spreading to other vital body organs like bones, lungs, liver and brain.


Early detection is normally advocated to ensure patients begin the treatment process as early as possible. However, although treatment procedures are significant, patients experience severe side effects from chemotherapy and the radiation used in curing cancer. Radiation therapy involves using radiations that are directed through the skin to kill cancerous cells. These might result in temporary side effects such as irritated skin, itching, hoarseness and throat pain. In most cases, patients are likely to develop serious long-term effects (Mosher et al., 2014). For instance, patients undergoing chemotherapy are likely to experience side effects. For instance, one may experience hair loss, vomiting, nausea, and weak immune system. In addition to these, women also experience vaginal dryness, amenorrhea, and hot flushes. Although temporary side effects may disappear after treatment, patients still have to experience such tough effects as a result of cancer. Recommendations to lessen the side effects include medication, seeking support from family and friends, and maintain normalcy.

The Role of ACS

The ACS has a significant role in creating awareness regarding cancer prevention, symptoms, and treatment. The organization is regarded as a nationwide community-based voluntary health provider that is dedicated to developing cancer elimination programs to save lives. It can provide education and support by conducting research and advocacy activities at the community level. Further, since the organization has collaborative partnerships with other major organizations like the ASCO, it is also able to contribute by developing other programs that advocate for cancer prevention.

Further, the ACS can also provide service by educating health professionals and physicians on how to provide care to cancer patients. Some of the ACS services that I would recommend include their research program, which involves three major components, supporting other cancer research institutes, developing cancer centers throughout the country, and conducting intramural research. I would also recommend the voluntary services provided by the organization in caring for cancer patients and providing support to their families.

Approach to Care

The Nursing Process

Nursing process is a tool used in promoting evidence-based practice as nurses examine and address each patient’s conditions. The process is also applied in cancer identification and treatment. It involves five phases; assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. (Mosher, 2014) For cancer patients, the first step involves systematically collecting and analyzing physiological and psychological data. For instance, if the patient is experiencing pain, the assessment phase would involve identifying the physical cause and manifestation of the pain.

The diagnosis phase involves the clinical judgment regarding a patient’s response to the health condition in question. For cancer, diagnosis also reflects the root cause of the problem and provides a basis for the nursing care plan. Based on the first two phases, the health provider is able to set measurable short and long-term goals in the planning phase. Depending on the cancer stage, planning may range from activities like maintaining adequate nutrition to pain management through medication. This forms a basis for the implementation phase, which involves assuring continuity of care for the patient when in hospital and when preparing for discharge (Neal et al., 2015). The final phase involves continuously evaluating the patient’s status and the effectiveness of the nursing care plan for regular modification.

Approach to Care

Linking Liberal Arts and Science Studies with Nursing Education

Liberal education courses have significantly contributed to medical and nursing education, hence becoming a necessary component in the nursing profession. The modern world poses daunting challenges that result from a wide range of factors like growing clinical knowledge, scientific advancement, patient diversity ethics, justice, and technology advancements. The nursing profession has, therefore, go beyond just understanding the need for care, to also identifying the significance of other elements of liberal arts.

As Neal et al. (2015) argue, the integration of humanities is a curricular approach that supports critical thinking within humanistic perspectives and enhances the professional and personal development of a nursing professional. With the growing complexities of healthcare, nursing student is required to be well informed, compassionate, competent empowered, and professional nurses with broadened knowledge in different areas (Neal et al., 2015). Further, with the different conflicting influences, liberal learning in higher education is necessary for preparing students to meet the challenges imposed in their profession. For instance, by incorporating social studies, nursing students are able to learn distinct concepts of evaluation methods and learning strategies in providing care and employing the nursing process



American Cancer Society. (2018). Cancer Facts & Figures 2018 | American Cancer Society.

Retrieved from

Mosher, C. E., Ott, M. A., Hanna, N., Jalal, S. I., & Champion, V. L. (2014). Coping with

physical and psychological symptoms: a qualitative study of advanced lung cancer patients and their family caregivers. Supportive Care in Cancer, 23(7), 2053-2060. DOI:10.1007/s00520-014-2566-8

National Cancer Institute. (2015). What Is Cancer? Retrieved from


Neal, R. D., Tharmanathan, P., France, B., Din, N. U., Cotton, S., Fallon-Ferguson, J., … &

Macleod, U. (2015). Is increased time to diagnosis and treatment in symptomatic cancer associated with poorer outcomes? Systematic review. British journal of cancer, 112(s1), S92.


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