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Neoplasm (3)

1. abnormal new growth of tissue with no useful purpose
2. may harm host
3. could be tumor but may not be

Benign (4)

1. usually harmless, non-malignant
2. encapsulated
3. doesn't spread or invade other tissues
4. Ex. moles, skin tags

Malignant (3)

1. Cancerous tumor
2. Capable of spread & invasion of other tissues far removed from the site of origin
3. Cells abnormal (chromosomal abnormalities), harmful, serve no purpose


- study of the distribution & determinants of diseases and health problems in specific populations
- location of people with disease

Mortality Rate

# of deaths that occur in population at risk in a specific period

Incidence Rate ****

# of new cases occurring in a given population at risk during a specific time (ex: certain age group)

Relative Survival Rate

5 yr survival marker; decreased probability that condition will recur or spread


no evidence of disease and same life expectancy as person who never had cancer



can be benign

Neoplasm Prefixes: sarc-

muscle or fat

Neoplasm Prefixes: hemangi-

blood vessels

Neoplasm Prefixes: lymph-

lymph vessels

Neoplasm Prefixes: neur-

nerve tissues

Neoplasm Prefixes: aden-

gland tissues

sarco / blast / carcin


What are Carcinogens & what are three types?

substance that causes a change in cell structure

1. radiation = small doses affect cells. Ex. radon, UV, radium, ionizing
2. viruses = Epstein Barr, Hep B, Hep C, HPV
3. chemical agents = Asbestos, tobacco, alcohol

What are seven predisposing factors?

1. Age >60, advanced age is the single most important
2. Geographic location = nuclear plants, florida
3. Occupation = asphalt
4. Heredity
5. Diet = high fat, red meat, low fiber
6. Immune function
7. Precancerous lesions = moles

Immunity Theory? (3)

1. cancer cells continually form in the body
2. immune system recognizes & destroys non-self cells
3. breakdown of immune system allows cancer cells to reproduce

What is the Double Hit Theory?

Have to have at least 2 predisposing factors burden the immune system

5 Stages of Carcinogenesis

1) Initiation
2) Latency period
3) Promotion
4) Progression
5) Metastasis

What is Initiation? (2)

1. DNA damaged by chemical, physical, biological agents
2. irreversible event that can lead to cancer development

What is Latency Period? (4)

1. abnormal cell does not grow
2. length varies
3. if found in this period = carcinomainstitu: abnormal cells just sitting there
4. time btw a cell's initiation & the development of overt tumors

What is Promotion?

1. substances enhance growth of abnormal/cancer cell

ex: hormones/tobacco/drugs

What is Progression? (3)

1. morphologic & phenotypic changes in cells
2. continued change of a cancer, making it more malignant over time
3. 1cm in size crowds out healthy tissue - new capillaries & blood supply shift nutrients to cancer cell killing normal cell near by

What is Metastasis?

cells break away from original group & establishing remote colonies

What is the normal cell cycle?

1. carefully controlled
2. when one cell dies, a new one is produced

What is differentiation?

- genetically identical cells assume same function
Ex. muscle cells

What is contact inhibition?

- contact with another cell allows growth in a single layer until edge is reached

What is tight adherence?

- stick together

What is apoptosis?

- die when function diminishes
- programmed cell death
- cancer cells do not recognize apoptosis

What is Primary Prevention & four ways of prevention?

* preventing it, the use of strategies to prevent the actual occurrence of cancer

- avoid carcinogens = sunscreen, don't smoke
- modify risk factors = alcohol, fat red meat, sexual partners
- remove at risk tissue
- chemoprevention

What is Secondary Prevention? ***

- Early identification through screening
Ex. HPV vaccine, sunscreen, quit smoking

What are eight Signs/Symptoms of Cancer?

- weight loss
- weakness
- fatigue
- pain
- CNS alterations
- hematologic & metabolic alterations (low platelets, high WBC)
- multiple infection
- paleness

7 Warning Signals: C in caution

Change in bowel/bladder habits

7 Warning Signals: A in caution

A sore that doesn't heal

7 Warning Signals: U in caution

Unusual bleeding or discharge

7 Warning Signals: T in caution

Thickening or lump anywhere

7 Warning Signals: I in caution

Ingestion problems (Swallowing)

7 Warning Signals: O in caution

Obvious change in mole or wart

7 Warning Signals: N in caution

Nagging cough/hoarseness

What is tumor grading?

- classifies cellular aspects of cancer
- cases of cell appearance & activity comparatively to normal parent tissue

What is level G1 of Tumor Grading?

- well differentiated
- minimal deviation from normal cells (could be benign)

What is level G2 of Tumor Grading?

- some normal characteristics
- moderately differentiated

What is level G3 of Tumor Grading?

- enough normal to ID origin

What is level G4 of Tumor Grading?

- can't tell origin

What is Staging Tumors? (3)

1. Classifies clinical aspects
2. how it is affecting the body
3. determines exact location, size & degree of metastasis

T = Tumor Staging (6)

T0 = nothing, no evidence of primary tumor

Tis = institu / cancer cells but not tumor

T1 = 1cm

T2 = bigger than 1cm but still in organ

T3 = beyond margin in organ

T4 = in adjacent tissue

N = Nodes Staging (4)

N0 = not in lymph nodes

N1 = in at least 1 lymph node

N2 = in all lymph nodes in area involved

N3 = in distant nodes (ex: breast to arm)

M = Metastasis Staging (2)

M0 = no metastasis

M1 = yes metastasis

What are 12 diagnostic tests?

1. X-ray studies
2. radioisotope scans
3. CT
4. mammogram
5. angiography
6. tumor markers (PSA or CEA)
7. cytology exam
8. biopsy
9. ultrasound
10. oscopy
11. MRI
12. antigen skin testing

What are three components of nursing care at diagnosis?

1. emotional support
2. must be honest
3. nurse must be able to discuss diagnosis, treatment, care, expected outcomes

What are four impacts of cancer?

1. physical - fatigue, decreased appetite
2. psychosocial = don't go anywhere
3. financial = chemo is expensive
4. economic = get assistance somewhere

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