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study of cells


process by which normal cells are transformed into cancer cells


substances which increase chance of cancer


preprogrammed cell death, the apoptotic process is executed in such a way as to safely dispose of cell corpses and fragments


a physiological process involving the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing vessels

prevention, care for the patient on chemotherapy and radiation

what is the focus of care for the patient with cancer

after menstrual cycle ends

when should the breast self exam(BRE) be done

inspection, palpation, and pads of fingertips

what technique is used while performing BRE

dimpling, discharge from nipples, change in size or appearance

abnormalities to report when doing a BRE

done monthly starting in high school, after a warm bath or shower

when should the testicular self exam(TSE) be done

young men, teens and 20s

what population does testicular cancer affect

smooth consistency, the same size, left testis lower than right testis, may feel spermatic cord behind scrotum, may be a little tender

normal findings when doing a TSE

baseline 35-39, annually after age 40

when should a women get a mammogram

annually for men and women over the age of 50

how often should a fecal occult blood test and colonoscopy be done to prevent colorectal cancer

annually starting at age 18 or when becoming sexually active

when should a papanicolaou(PAP) smear be done

PAP smear

simple procedure that collects cells from the cervix, detects cervical cancer and changes in cervical cells that suggests cancer development


what position should the patient be in for a PAP smear

sexual intercourse, douching, using vaginal meds, spermicidal foams, creams, or jellies 2 days before, while on menses

what to avoid when having a PAP smear


scope to visualize cervix and vagina, staining done to visualize unhealthy cells


cone sized piece taken from the cevix

deoderant, creams, lotions

what to avoid before having a mammogram done


radiograph of the breast tissue

annually after the age of 50

when men should have prostate specific antigen(PSA) done


normal range for PSA

digital rectal exam(DRE)

done to check for abnormalities of organs or other structures of the pelvis and abdomen, checks prostate in men

firm, rubbery, size of a walnut

normal findings of prostate in men when performing a DRE

bumpy=cancer, boggy=infection

abnormal findings of prostate in men when performing a DRE


any abnormal growth of new tissue


malignant neoplasms multiply and spread to distant parts of the body through the blood stream or lymph system


increase in the number of cells in an organ or tissue, number of cells gets bigger


increase in the size of cells and subsequently the size of an organ, actual cells get bigger


one adult cell type is replaced by another cell type


irreversible change where adult cells regress to more primitive state

slow growth, remains localized, usually encapsulated, smooth, well defined, resembles parent tissue, crowds normal tissue, rarely fatal

characteristics of benign neoplasms

growth rate varies, metastasizes, rarely encapsulated, irregular, does not resemble parent tissue, invades normal tissue, may recur, fatal without treatment

characteristics of malignant neoplasms


described according to the site of the primary tumor, the type of tissue involved or the person who identified it


cancer of grandular tissue


cancer occurring in infection fighting tissue, lymphatic tissue


cancers occurring in blood forming organs


cancers occurring in epithelial tissues


cancers occurring in connective tissue

abnormal cell invasion

phase one of tumor formation

tumor is there but not invading, easy to get out

phase two of tumor formation

angiogenesis/invasion occurs

phase three of tumor formation


phase four of tumor formation

cancer staging

determines the extent of the spread of cancer

T- tumor, N - node, M - metastasis

TNM staging classification system

the higher the number the more cancer

rule when staging and grading cancer


tumor cannot be assessed


no evidence of primary tumor


carcinoma in situ

T1, T2, T3

progressive increase in tumor size and involvement

carcinoma in situ

tumor is there but not invasive or moving


regional lymph nodes cannot be assessed


no regional nodes metastasis

N1, N2, N3

increasing lymph node involvement


not assessed


no known distant metastasis


distant metastasis present, specify sites


based on the degree of malignancy which is determined by the ability of the cell to perform its function


what is the most definitive way to diagnosis cancer

watch for bleeding

priority when a tissue biopsy has been taken


determines the difference between solid mass and fluid filled cyst

to know if the tumor has come back

why would a patient receive a carcinoembryonic antigen(CEA) and prostate specific antigen(PSA) test a year after chemotherapy

PSA ia elevated, blood with DRE

when is a transrectal ultrasound of the prostate done

no stimulants before the test and not pregnant nurses or patients

priority when doing a transrectal ultrasound of the prostate

to remove all malignant cells

goal of surgery for cancer

curative surgery

to heal or restore health

palliative surgery

relieve or reduce symptoms

reconstructive surgery

may follow curative surgery to re-establish function or for cosmetic effect

radiation therapy

use of high energy moving through space or medium to interrupt cellular growth, used to treat solid tumors

bone marrow suppression

what is the main side effect of radiation therapy


bone marrow suppression that includes anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia


what is a late sign of anemia

signs of thrombocytopenia

echymosis, petechiea, hematuria, purpura, epitaxis, hemarthrosis, basically any kind of bleeding

radiation ports

marks on skin to indicate where radiation will be directed

no lotion, creams, or powders, no restrictive clothing

things to avoid with radiation ports

wash gently and pat dry, do not expose to sun or chlorine, may have moist desquamation

priority with radiation ports

moist desquamation

weeping skin

limit time with patient to 10 minutes, keep long handed forceps and lead container if implant becomes dislodged, strict bedrest, stand furthest away from site being treated, monitor for bone marrow suppression

priorities with internal radiation


interferes with the cancer cell's ability to reproduce

rapidly dividing cells, hematopoietic system(bone marrow), hair follicles, GI system

what type of cell does chemotherapy effect

risk for infection, no flowers or fresh veggies

priority with leukopenia

low residue diet to reduce GI bleeding

priority with thrombocytopenia


decrease in WBC(leukopenia), RBC(anemia), platelets(thrombocytopenia)


form of leukopenia affecting neutrophils

normal platelet count


normal RBC count

4-6 million

normal WBC count



inflammation of the oral mucosa

no citrus, no acid, no spicy foods, no floss, no commercial mouth washes

things to avoid with stomatitis

use soft toothbrush, ice chips to numb, rinse mouth with normal saline or baking soda every 2-4 hours

priority in stomatitis

at risk for imbalanced nutrition: less than body requirements due to anorexia and poor oral intake

nursing diagnosis related to stomatitis


loss of hair due to the destruction of hair follicles

let the patient know that hair loss is temporary and will grow back the same

what to tell the patient for comfort with alopecia

metabolic alkalosis

what acid base imbalance occurs with nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy

give antiemetics 30 minutes before

how to reduce nausea and vomiting when giving chemotherapy

chemotherapy side effects

pancytopenia, stomatitis, alopecia, nausea, vomiting, tumor lysis syndrome

tumor lysis syndome

oncologic emergency with rapid lysis(death) of malignant cells

hyperkalemia, hyperphosphatemia, hyperuricemia

electrolyte imbalances caused by tumor lysis syndrome

treatment for tumor lysis syndrome

hydration, push fluids

bone marrow transplant

replaces diseased or damaged marrow with normal marrow after high dose of chemotherapy or body irradiation

peripheral stem cell transplantation

alternative to bone marrow transplant with shorter recovery time and fewer, less severe complications

purchase scarfs or wigs

what should you have the patient on chemotherapy do before treatment starts

no turning or bathing, no movement

how to prevent internal radiation from becoming dislodged

apply prolonged pressure

priority when giving an injection for a patient with pancytopenia

BRE, TSE, colonoscopy, diet, limit sun exposure, low fat , high fiber diet

ways to prevent cancer

around the clock dosage

when to give pain meds with endstage cancer

patient maintains a stable weight

how do you know when nutritional needs for the cancer patient have been met

C in caution

changes in bowel or bladder habits(colorectal)

A in caution

a sore that does not heal(basal or squamous cell carcinoma)

U in caution

unusual bleeding or discharge(any kind of cancer)

T in caution

thickening or lump in breast or elsewhere(breast or testicular cancer)

I in caution

indigestion or difficulty swallowing(gastric or esophageal cancer)

O in caution

obvious change in warts or moles(mylenoma)

N in caution

nagging cough or hoarseness(lung, laryngeal cancer)

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