Approach to Care

Subject: Health Care
Type: Process Analysis Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1185
Topics: Cancer, Health, Medicine


The present study is interested in discussing the diagnosis and staging of cancer by concentrating upon the complications appeared in wake of the individuals’ suffering from this fatal disease. The study also aims to elaborate the most prominent side effects of the treatment and cancer, and methods to lessen physical and psychological effects. 

Diagnosis and Staging of Cancer

Cancer serves as one of the most fatal diseases, which seriously tells upon the normal functioning of one or more body organs of the patient in different ways (Emole, 2013). As a result, the medical specialists and practitioners emphasize upon early diagnosis of the disease. In case, there appears slight suspicion regarding the patient’s having cancer symptoms in form of nods, tumors, metastasis or others, they are asked for the proper examination on immediate basis, so that the disease could be diagnosed and treated at its early stage (Collins, 2006). Since most of the patients initially consult the general medical practitioner on feeling ill and physically weak and disturbed, diagnosis of the disease certainly requires blood, urine and other laboratory tests and medical examinations as well as plain radiographs during treatment of some other unrelated diseases to reach the conclusion (Wang, 2000). 

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However, morphological examinations are viewed to be one of the most effective methods of diagnosing cancer (Collins, 2006). It is partly because of the involvement of histopathology in the diagnosis procedure, which turns out to be beneficial for the accurate diagnosis of the ailment (Emole, 2013). In the same way, biochemical methods of examination are also applied to reach the conclusion on the basis of the reports (Emole, 176). Hence, histopathology and anatomic features are considered to be the two major diagnosis methods while detecting cancer in a patient (Emole, 2013, 175-6).   

While discussing the most practiced and recommended cancer diagnosis procedures, morphological tests serve as the most widely practiced ones, in which nods and/or tumors appearing in the body are sent to the labs for examination (Collins, 2006). Nevertheless, histopathology is still viewed to be the more solid method of cancer diagnosis in patients (Emole, 2013). In addition, examination of the tissue samples with the help of microscopic diagnosis machines are also regarded as the most appropriate biochemical assays for cancer diagnosis, which comes under the most compact forms of histopathology (Collins, 2006). Besides, molecular techniques including PCR and DNA are also applied in case the medical advisors do not find the solid symptoms of cancer in a patient (Wang, 2000).  

Stages of Cancer

  • Stage 0: While discussing the stage 0 or cancer in situ, it becomes evident that the medical experts and theorists call it as cancer in situ or place, where the presence of cancer is detected in some specific area of body, though it has not been spread the nearby tissues or in other body parts of the patient (Ludwig, 2005, 846). At this stage, the nod or tumor affected by cancer is removed through minor operation. Therefore, Stage 0 is considered to be completely curable (Ludwig, 2005). 
  • Stage 1: This is the next stage of cancer, which is called as localized stage. At this stage, the patient has one or more cancer tumors in body, though still it has not developed deep in body tissues. Thus, removal of tumor may get the patient rid of cancer, and may lead to his complete convalescence gradually (Ludwig, 2005). 
  • Stage 2: At stage 2, cancer has started growing deep into the tissues, which may damage the tissues and even organs affected by the cancer. This stage requires immediate treatment through chemotherapy, including medicines, injections or both for the treatment. However, still operating the affected part of body by separating it from the body may assure gradual convalescence of the cancer patient (Ludwig, 2005).  
  • Stage 3: Identical with the cancer stage 2, it is also called regional spread stage, where cancer has been grown in patient’s body at this stage. This stage is more critical partly due to the spread of lymph nodes in the affected area in deep, which has caused damage of this body part. Moreover, though not in all cases, the spread of cancer may also have started growing and spreading towards the nearby tissues, and causing its influence on nearby body parts of the patients. Therefore, it is viewed to be the last curable stage of cancer (Ludwig, 2005, 851).  
  • Stage IV: Stage IV is the metastatic or final stage of cancer; in which the disease has spread in other parts of the body along with the situ or place of its origin. Hence, the patient has reached at a critical state, where there remain bleak chances of his recovery from cancer. Sometimes detaching one or more body parts can turn out to be helpful in respect of stopping the growth and spread of cancer in the entire body (Ludwig, 2005); however, chances of survival and cure are bleak at the fourth stage of cancer. 

TNM System

The medical experts have suggested three categories, which turn out to be supportive in determining the severity of cancer disease; these include tumor, lymph nodes and metastases, and treatment in recommended in light of the scores attributed to these three.  

Complications of cancer and the side effects of treatment

Cancer is rightly regarded to be one of the most serious diseases, which bring severe physical and mental complications in the patients (Wang, 2000). It is partly because of the very reality that it adversely affects the immunity system among the patients (Ludwig, 2005). Consequently, the patients suffering from cancer experience nausea, fatigue, weight loss, pain in different parts of body, serious nervous problems and even nervous breakdown, brain problems and irritation, mental stress and frustration, stomach disturbance and difficulty in breathing, and others (Ludwig, 2005). Thus, cancer leaves its severe effects on almost all parts of body, and turns humans to be physically weak and mentally retarded to a great extent. 

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Methods to lessen physical and psychological effects

Unlike most of the ailments, treatment of cancer is not the routine or ordinary medical procedure altogether. On the other hand, it involves high potency pills, heavy injections and dosages, which tends to destroy the natural immunity system and creates new medical problems. Hence, destruction of immunity system and vulnerability of the mental and physical conditions of the patients are regarded to be the challenges that appear in wake of the cancer treatment (Emole, 2013). In addition, chemotherapy or other identical treatments may cause severe fatigue, memory loss and mental health problems, loss of hair from head, face and body, permanent pain in body, respiratory, digestive and reproduction problems, sexual deficiencies, urinary and gastrointestinal problems, lymphedema and others. Hence, treatment of cancer does not assure normal mental and physical health to the patient after treatment; on the contrary, high potency medicines and drugs tend to deteriorate the health condition of the patient, though it helps in his survival and provides some relief from intensity of pains to some extent (Ludwig, 2005). 

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  1. Collins I, Workman P. (2006). New approaches to molecular cancer therapeutics. Nature Chemical Biology 2 (12).
  2. Emole, Josephine. (2013). Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment: An Overview for the General Practitioner. Houston: University of Texas Health Center, Houston, USA, pp. 175-87. 
  3. Ludwig JA, Weinstein JN. (2005). Biomarkers in cancer staging, prognosis and selection. Nature Reviews Cancer 5 : 845-857.  
  4. Wang CC. (2000). Clinical radiation oncology. 2nd ed. Canada: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
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