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NSG 170 Unit 5 - Cellular Regulation
Terms in this set (61)
5. While the nurse is obtaining the health history of a 75-year-old female patient, which of the following has the greatest implication for the development of cancer?
a. Being a 75-year-old woman
b. Family history of hypertension
c. Cigarette smoking as a teenager
d. Advancing age
According to the American Cancer Society, 2007, the most important risk factor for cancer development is advancing age.
1. The nurse would incorporate which of the following into the plan of care as a primary prevention strategy for reduction of the risk for cancer?
a. Yearly mammography for women aged 40 years and older
b. Using skin protection during sun exposure while at the beach
c. Colonoscopy at age 50 and every 10 years as follow-up
d. Yearly prostate specific antigen (PSA) and digital rectal exam for men aged 50 and over
Primary prevention of cancer involves avoidance to known causes of cancer, such as sun exposure. Secondary screening involves physical and diagnostic examination.
2. While collecting a health history on a patient admitted for suspected colon cancer, which of the following questions would be a priority to ask this patient?
a. Have you noticed any blood in your stool?
b. Have you been experiencing nausea?
c. Do you have back pain?
d. Have you noticed any swelling in your abdomen?
Early colon cancer is often asymptomatic, with occult or frank blood in the stool being an assessment finding in a patient diagnosed with colon cancer. If pain is present, it is usually lower abdominal cramping. Constipation and diarrhea are more frequent findings than nausea or ascites.
3. While planning care for a patient experiencing fatigue due to chemotherapy, which of the following is the most appropriate nursing intervention?
a. Prioritization and administration of nursing care throughout the day
b. Completing all nursing care in the morning so the patient can rest the remainder of the day
c. Completing all nursing care in the evening when the patient is more rested
d. Limiting visitors, thus promoting the maximal amount of hours for sleep
Pacing activities throughout the day conserves energy, and nursing care should be paced as well. Fatigue is a common side effect of cancer and treatment; and while adequate sleep is important, an increase in the number of hours slept will not resolve the fatigue. Restriction of visitors does not promote healthy coping and can result in feelings of isolation.
4. The nurse is caring for a patient who received a bone marrow transplant 10 days ago. The nurse would monitor for which of the following clinical manifestations that could indicate a potentially life-threatening situation?
d. Mild temperature elevation
During the first 100 days after a bone marrow transplant, patients are at high risk for life-threatening infections. The earliest sign of infection in an immunosuppressed patient can be a mild fever. Mucositis, confusion, and depression are possible clinical manifestations but are representative of less life-threatening complications.
6. In caring for a patient following lobectomy for lung cancer, which of the following should the nurse include in the plan of care?
a. Position the patient on the operative side only.
b. Avoid administering narcotic pain medications.
c. Keep the patient on strict bed rest.
d. Instruct the patient to cough and deep breathe.
Postoperative deep breathing and coughing is important to promote oxygenation and clearing of secretions. Pain medications will be given to lessen pain and allow for deep breathing and coughing. Strict bed rest is not instituted, because early ambulation will help lessen postoperative complications such as deep vein thrombosis. Prolonged lying on the operative side is avoided
7. A female patient complains of a scab that just wont heal under her left breast. During your conversation, she also mentions chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, and slight cough, attributed to allergies. What are the nurses next steps?
a. Continue to conduct a symptom analysis to better understand the patients symptoms and concerns.
b. End the appointment and tell the patient to use skin protection during sun exposure.
c. Suggest further testing with a cancer specialist and provide the appropriate literature.
d. Tell her to put a bandage on the scab and set a follow-up appointment in one week.
A comprehensive health history is vital to treating and caring for the patient. Often times, symptoms are vague. The nurse should conduct a symptom analysis to gather as much information as possible. Questions should address the duration of the symptoms and include the location, characteristics, aggravating and relief factors, and any treatments taken thus far.
1. A patient who is scheduled for a right breast biopsy asks the nurse the difference between a benign tumor and a malignant tumor. Which answer by the nurse is correct?
a. "Benign tumors do not cause damage to other tissues."
b. "Benign tumors are likely to recur in the same location."
c. "Malignant tumors may spread to other tissues or organs."
d. "Malignant cells reproduce more rapidly than normal cells."
The major difference between benign and malignant tumors is that malignant tumors invade adjacent tissues and spread to distant tissues and benign tumors never metastasize. The other statements are inaccurate. Both types of tumors may cause damage to adjacent tissues. Malignant cells do not reproduce more rapidly than normal cells. Benign tumors do not usually recur.
2. The nurse is caring for a patient receiving intravesical bladder chemotherapy. The nurse should monitor for which adverse effect?
The adverse effects of intravesical chemotherapy are confined to the bladder. The other adverse effects are associated with systemic chemotherapy.
3. The nurse is caring for a patient who smokes 2 packs/day. To reduce the patient's risk of lung cancer, which action by the nurse is best?
a. Teach the patient about the seven warning signs of cancer.
b. Plan to monitor the patient's carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) level.
c. Discuss the risks associated with cigarettes during every patient encounter.
d. Teach the patient about the use of annual chest x-rays for lung cancer screening.
Teaching about the risks associated with cigarette smoking is recommended at every patient encounter because cigarette smoking is associated with multiple health problems. A tumor must be at least 0.5 cm large before it is detectable by current screening methods and may already have metastasized by that time. Oncofetal antigens such as CEA may be used to monitor therapy or detect tumor reoccurrence, but are not helpful in screening for cancer. The seven warning signs of cancer are actually associated with fairly advanced disease.
4. The nurse should include which food choice when providing dietary teaching for a patient scheduled to receive external beam radiation for abdominal cancer?
a. Fresh fruit salad
b. Roasted chicken
c. Whole wheat toast
d. Cream of potato soup
To minimize the diarrhea that is commonly associated with bowel radiation, the patient should avoid foods high in roughage, such as fruits and whole grains. Lactose intolerance may develop secondary to radiation, so dairy products should also be avoided.
5. During a routine health examination, a 40-year-old patient tells the nurse about a family history of colon cancer. Which action should the nurse take next?
a. Teach the patient about the need for a colonoscopy at age 50.
b. Teach the patient how to do home testing for fecal occult blood.
c. Obtain more information from the patient about the family history.
d. Schedule a sigmoidoscopy to provide baseline data about the patient.
The patient may be at increased risk for colon cancer, but the nurse's first action should be further assessment. The other actions may be appropriate, depending on the information that is obtained from the patient with further questioning.
6. A patient who is diagnosed with cervical cancer that is classified as Tis, N0, M0 asks the nurse what the letters and numbers mean. Which response by the nurse is most appropriate?
a. "The cancer involves only the cervix."
b. "The cancer cells look almost like normal cells."
c. "Further testing is needed to determine the spread of the cancer."
d. "It is difficult to determine the original site of the cervical cancer."
Cancer in situ indicates that the cancer is localized to the cervix and is not invasive at this time. Cell differentiation is not indicated by clinical staging. Because the cancer is in situ, the origin is the cervix. Further testing is not indicated given that the cancer has not spread.
7. The nurse teaches a patient who is scheduled for a prostate needle biopsy about the procedure. Which statement, if made by the patient, indicates that teaching was effective?
a. "The biopsy will remove the cancer in my prostate gland."
b. "The biopsy will determine how much longer I have to live."
c. "The biopsy will help decide the treatment for my enlarged prostate."
d. "The biopsy will indicate whether the cancer has spread to other organs."
A biopsy is used to determine whether the prostate enlargement is benign or malignant, and determines the type of treatment that will be needed. A biopsy does not give information about metastasis, life expectancy, or the impact of cancer on the patient's life.
8. The nurse teaches a postmenopausal patient with stage III breast cancer about the expected outcomes of cancer treatment. Which patient statement indicates that the teaching has been effective?
a. "After cancer has not recurred for 5 years, it is considered cured."
b. "The cancer will be cured if the entire tumor is surgically removed."
c. "Cancer is never considered cured, but the tumor can be controlled with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation."
d. "I will need to have follow-up examinations for many years after I have treatment before I can be considered cured."
The risk of recurrence varies by the type of cancer. Some cancers are considered cured after a shorter time span or after surgery, but stage III breast cancer will require additional therapies and ongoing follow-up.
9. A patient with a large stomach tumor that is attached to the liver is scheduled to have a debulking procedure. Which information should the nurse teach the patient about the outcome of this procedure?
a. Pain will be relieved by cutting sensory nerves in the stomach.
b. Relief of pressure in the stomach will promote better nutrition.
c. Tumor growth will be controlled by the removal of malignant tissue.
d. Tumor size will decrease and this will improve the effects of other therapy.
A debulking surgery reduces the size of the tumor and makes radiation and chemotherapy more effective. Debulking surgeries do not control tumor growth. The tumor is debulked because it is attached to the liver, a vital organ (not to relieve pressure on the stomach). Debulking does not sever the sensory nerves, although pain may be lessened by the reduction in pressure on the abdominal organs.
10. External-beam radiation is planned for a patient with cervical cancer. What instructions should the nurse give to the patient to prevent complications from the effects of the radiation?
a. Test all stools for the presence of blood.
b. Maintain a high-residue, high-fiber diet.
c. Clean the perianal area carefully after every bowel movement.
d. Inspect the mouth and throat daily for the appearance of thrush.
Radiation to the abdomen will affect organs in the radiation path, such as the bowel, and cause frequent diarrhea. Careful cleaning of this area will help decrease the risk for skin breakdown and infection. Stools are likely to have occult blood from the inflammation associated with radiation, so routine testing of stools for blood is not indicated. Radiation to the abdomen will not cause stomatitis. A low-residue diet is recommended to avoid irritation of the bowel when patients receive abdominal radiation.
11. A patient with Hodgkin's lymphoma who is undergoing external radiation therapy tells the nurse, "I am so tired I can hardly get out of bed in the morning." Which intervention should the nurse add to the plan of care?
a. Minimize activity until the treatment is completed.
b. Establish time to take a short walk almost every day.
c. Consult with a psychiatrist for treatment of depression.
d. Arrange for delivery of a hospital bed to the patient's home.
Walking programs are used to keep the patient active without excessive fatigue. Having a hospital bed does not necessarily address the fatigue. The better option is to stay as active as possible while combating fatigue. Fatigue is expected during treatment and is not an indication of depression. Minimizing activity may lead to weakness and other complications of immobility.
12. The nurse is caring for a patient with colon cancer who is scheduled for external radiation therapy to the abdomen. Which information obtained by the nurse would indicate a need for patient teaching?
a. The patient swims a mile 3 days a week.
b. The patient snacks frequently during the day.
c. The patient showers everyday with a mild soap.
d. The patient has a history of dental caries with amalgam fillings.
The patient is instructed to avoid swimming in salt water or chlorinated pools during the treatment period. The patient does not need to change habits of eating frequently or showering with a mild soap. A history of dental caries will not impact the patient who is scheduled for abdominal radiation.
13. A patient undergoing external radiation has developed a dry desquamation of the skin in the treatment area. The nurse teaches the patient about management of the skin reaction. Which statement, if made by the patient, indicates the teaching was effective?
a. "I can buy some aloe vera gel to use on the area."
b. "I will expose the treatment area to a sun lamp daily."
c. "I can use ice packs to relieve itching in the treatment area."
d. "I will scrub the area with warm water to remove the scales."
Aloe vera gel and cream may be used on the radiated skin area. Ice and sunlamps may injure the skin. Treatment areas should be cleaned gently to avoid further injury.
14. A patient with metastatic cancer of the colon experiences severe vomiting following each administration of chemotherapy. Which action, if taken by the nurse, is most appropriate?
a. Have the patient eat large meals when nausea is not present.
b. Offer dry crackers and carbonated fluids during chemotherapy.
c. Administer prescribed antiemetics 1 hour before the treatments.
d. Give the patient two ounces of a citrus fruit beverage during treatments.
Treatment with antiemetics before chemotherapy may help prevent nausea. The patient should eat small, frequent meals. Offering food and beverages during chemotherapy is likely to cause nausea. The acidity of citrus fruits may be further irritating to the stomach.
15. The nurse administers an IV vesicant chemotherapeutic agent to a patient. Which action is most important for the nurse to take?
a. Infuse the medication over a short period of time.
b. Stop the infusion if swelling is observed at the site.
c. Administer the chemotherapy through a small-bore catheter.
d. Hold the medication unless a central venous line is available.
Swelling at the site may indicate extravasation, and the IV should be stopped immediately. The medication generally should be given slowly to avoid irritation of the vein. The size of the catheter is not as important as administration of vesicants into a running IV line to allow dilution of the chemotherapeutic drug. These medications can be given through peripheral lines, although central vascular access devices (CVADs) are preferred.
16. A chemotherapy drug that causes alopecia is prescribed for a patient. Which action should the nurse take to maintain the patient's self-esteem?
a. Tell the patient to limit social contacts until regrowth of the hair occurs.
b. Encourage the patient to purchase a wig or hat and wear it once hair loss begins.
c. Teach the patient to gently wash hair with a mild shampoo to minimize hair loss.
d. Inform the patient that hair usually grows back once the chemotherapy is complete.
The patient is taught to anticipate hair loss and to be prepared with wigs, scarves, or hats. Limiting social contacts is not appropriate at a time when the patient is likely to need a good social support system. The damage occurs at the hair follicle and will occur regardless of gentle washing or use of a mild shampoo. The information that the hair will grow back may not be true and is not immediately helpful in maintaining the patient's self-esteem.
17. A patient who has ovarian cancer is crying and tells the nurse, "My husband rarely visits. He just doesn't care." The husband indicates to the nurse that he never knows what to say to help his wife. Which nursing diagnosis is most appropriate for the nurse to add to the plan of care?
a. Compromised family coping related to disruption in lifestyle
b. Impaired home maintenance related to perceived role changes
c. Risk for caregiver role strain related to burdens of caregiving responsibilities
d. Dysfunctional family processes related to effect of illness on family members
The data indicate that this diagnosis is most appropriate because poor communication among the family members is affecting family processes. No data suggest a change in lifestyle or its role as an etiology. The data do not support impairment in home maintenance or a burden caused by caregiving responsibilities.
18. A patient receiving head and neck radiation for larynx cancer has ulcerations over the oral mucosa and tongue and thick, ropey saliva. Which instructions should the nurse give to this patient?
a. Remove food debris from the teeth and oral mucosa with a stiff toothbrush.
b. Use cotton-tipped applicators dipped in hydrogen peroxide to clean the teeth.
c. Gargle and rinse the mouth several times a day with an antiseptic mouthwash.
d. Rinse the mouth before and after each meal and at bedtime with a saline solution.
The patient should rinse the mouth with a saline solution frequently. A soft toothbrush is used for oral care. Hydrogen peroxide may damage tissues. Antiseptic mouthwashes may irritate the oral mucosa and are not recommended.
19. A patient has been assigned the nursing diagnosis of imbalanced nutrition: less than body requirements related to painful oral ulcers. Which nursing action will be most effective in improving oral intake?
a. Offer the patient frequent small snacks between meals.
b. Assist the patient to choose favorite foods from the menu.
c. Provide teaching about the importance of nutritional intake.
d. Apply the ordered anesthetic gel to oral lesions before meals.
Because the etiology of the patient's poor nutrition is the painful oral ulcers, the best intervention is to apply anesthetic gel to the lesions before the patient eats. The other actions might be helpful for other patients with impaired nutrition, but would not be as helpful for this patient.
20. A widowed mother of four school-age children is hospitalized with metastatic ovarian cancer. The patient is crying and tells the nurse that she does not know what will happen to her children when she dies. Which response by the nurse is most appropriate?
a. "Why don't we talk about the options you have for the care of your children?"
b. "I'm sure you have friends that will take the children when you can't care for them."
c. "For now you need to concentrate on getting well and not worrying about your children."
d. "Many patients with cancer live for a long time, so there is still time to plan for your children."
This response expresses the nurse's willingness to listen and recognizes the patient's concern. The responses beginning "Many patients with cancer live for a long time" and "For now you need to concentrate on getting well" close off discussion of the topic and indicate that the nurse is uncomfortable with the topic. In addition, the patient with metastatic ovarian cancer may not have a long time to plan. Although it is possible that the patient's friends will take the children, more assessment information is needed before making plans.
21. A patient who has severe pain associated with terminal pancreatic cancer is being cared for at home by family members. Which finding by the nurse indicates that teaching regarding pain management has been effective?
a. The patient uses the ordered opioid pain medication whenever the pain is greater than 5 (0 to 10 scale).
b. The patient agrees to take the medications by the IV route in order to improve analgesic effectiveness.
c. The patient takes opioids around the clock on a regular schedule and uses additional doses when breakthrough pain occurs.
d. The patient states that nonopioid analgesics may be used when the maximal dose of the opioid is reached without adequate pain relief.
For chronic cancer pain, analgesics should be taken on a scheduled basis, with additional doses as needed for breakthrough pain. Taking the medications only when pain reaches a certain level does not provide effective pain control. Although nonopioid analgesics also may be used, there is no maximum dose of opioid. Opioids are given until pain control is achieved. The IV route is not more effective than the oral route, and usually the oral route is preferred.
22. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is used as adjuvant therapy for a patient with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Which information should the nurse include when explaining the purpose of this therapy to the patient?
a. IL-2 enhances the immunologic response to tumor cells.
b. IL-2 stimulates malignant cells in the resting phase to enter mitosis.
c. IL-2 prevents the bone marrow depression caused by chemotherapy.
d. IL-2 protects normal cells from the harmful effects of chemotherapy.
IL-2 enhances the ability of the patient's own immune response to suppress tumor cells. IL-2 does not protect normal cells from damage caused by chemotherapy, stimulate malignant cells to enter mitosis, or prevent bone marrow depression.
23. The home health nurse cares for a patient who has been receiving interferon therapy for treatment of cancer. Which statement by the patient indicates a need for further assessment?
a. "I have frequent muscle aches and pains."
b. "I rarely have the energy to get out of bed."
c. "I experience chills after I inject the interferon."
d. "I take acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 4 hours."
Fatigue can be a dose-limiting toxicity for use of biologic therapies. Flulike symptoms, such as muscle aches and chills, are common side effects with interferon use. Patients are advised to use acetaminophen every 4 hours.
24. A patient with leukemia is considering whether to have hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The nurse will include which information in the patient's teaching plan?
a. Transplant of the donated cells is painful because of the nerves in the tissue lining the bone.
b. Donor bone marrow cells are transplanted through an incision into the sternum or hip bone.
c. The transplant procedure takes place in a sterile operating room to minimize the risk for infection.
d. Hospitalization will be required for several weeks after the stem cell transplant procedure is performed.
The patient requires strict protective isolation to prevent infection for 2 to 4 weeks after HSCT while waiting for the transplanted marrow to start producing cells. The transplanted cells are infused through an IV line, so the transplant is not painful, nor is an operating room or incision required.
25. The nurse teaches a patient with cancer of the liver about high-protein, high-calorie diet choices. Which snack choice by the patient indicates that the teaching has been effective?
a. Lime sherbet
b. Blueberry yogurt
c. Cream cheese bagel
d. Fresh strawberries and bananas
Yogurt has high biologic value because of the protein and fat content. Fruit salad does not have high amounts of protein or fat. Lime sherbet is lower in fat and protein than yogurt. Cream cheese is low in protein.
26. A patient with cancer has a nursing diagnosis of imbalanced nutrition: less than body requirements related to altered taste sensation. Which nursing action is most appropriate?
a. Add strained baby meats to foods such as casseroles.
b. Teach the patient about foods that are high in nutrition.
c. Avoid giving the patient foods that are strongly disliked.
d. Add extra spice to enhance the flavor of foods that are served.
The patient will eat more if disliked foods are avoided and foods that the patient likes are included instead. Additional spice is not usually an effective way to enhance taste. Adding baby meats to foods will increase calorie and protein levels, but does not address the issue of taste. The patient's poor intake is not caused by a lack of information about nutrition.
27. During the teaching session for a patient who has a new diagnosis of acute leukemia the patient is restless and is looking away, never making eye contact. After teaching about the complications associated with chemotherapy, the patient asks the nurse to repeat all of the information. Based on this assessment, which nursing diagnosis is most appropriate for the patient?
a. Risk for ineffective adherence to treatment related to denial of need for chemotherapy
b. Acute confusion related to infiltration of leukemia cells into the central nervous system
c. Risk for ineffective health maintenance related to anxiety about new leukemia diagnosis
d. Deficient knowledge: chemotherapy related to a lack of interest in learning about treatment
The patient who has a new cancer diagnosis is likely to have high anxiety, which may impact learning and require that the nurse repeat and reinforce information. The patient's history of a recent diagnosis suggests that infiltration of the leukemia is not a likely cause of the confusion. The patient asks for the information to be repeated, indicating that lack of interest in learning and denial are not etiologic factors.
28. A hospitalized patient who has received chemotherapy for leukemia develops neutropenia. Which observation by the nurse would indicate a need for further teaching?
a. The patient ambulates several times a day in the room.
b. The patient's visitors bring in some fresh peaches from home.
c. The patient cleans with a warm washcloth after having a stool.
d. The patient uses soap and shampoo to shower every other day.
Fresh, thinned-skin fruits are not permitted in a neutropenic diet because of the risk of bacteria being present. The patient should ambulate in the room rather than the hospital hallway to avoid exposure to other patients or visitors. Because overuse of soap can dry the skin and increase infection risk, showering every other day is acceptable. Careful cleaning after having a bowel movement will help prevent skin breakdown and infection.
29. The nurse is caring for a patient who has been diagnosed with stage I cancer of the colon. When assessing the need for psychologic support, which question by the nurse will provide the most information?
a. "How long ago were you diagnosed with this cancer?"
b. "Do you have any concerns about body image changes?"
c. "Can you tell me what has been helpful to you in the past when coping with stressful events?"
d. "Are you familiar with the stages of emotional adjustment to a diagnosis like cancer of the colon?"
Information about how the patient has coped with past stressful situations helps the nurse determine usual coping mechanisms and their effectiveness. The length of time since the diagnosis will not provide much information about the patient's need for support. The patient's knowledge of typical stages in adjustment to a critical diagnosis does not provide insight into patient needs for assistance. Because surgical interventions for stage I cancer of the colon may not cause any body image changes, this question is not appropriate at this time.
30. The nurse assesses a patient who is receiving interleukin-2. Which finding should the nurse report immediately to the health care provider?
a. Generalized muscle aches
b. Complaints of nausea and anorexia
c. Oral temperature of 100.6° F (38.1° C)
d. Crackles heard at the lower scapular border
Capillary leak syndrome and acute pulmonary edema are possible toxic effects of interleukin-2. The patient may need oxygen and the nurse should rapidly notify the health care provider. The other findings are common side effects of interleukin-2.
31. The nurse obtains information about a hospitalized patient who is receiving chemotherapy for colorectal cancer. Which information about the patient alerts the nurse to discuss a possible change in therapy with the health care provider?
a. Poor oral intake
b. Frequent loose stools
c. Complaints of nausea and vomiting
d. Increase in carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)
An increase in CEA indicates that the chemotherapy is not effective for the patient's cancer and may need to be modified. The other patient findings are common adverse effects of chemotherapy. The nurse may need to address these, but they would not necessarily indicate a need for a change in therapy.
32. The nurse reviews the laboratory results of a patient who is receiving chemotherapy. Which laboratory result is most important to report to the health care provider?
a. Hematocrit of 30%
b. Platelets of 95,000/µL
c. Hemoglobin of 10 g/L
d. White blood cell (WBC) count of 2700/µL
The low WBC count places the patient at risk for severe infection and is an indication that the chemotherapy dose may need to be lower or that WBC growth factors such as filgrastim (Neupogen) are needed. Although the other laboratory data indicate decreased levels, they do not indicate any immediate life-threatening adverse effects of the chemotherapy.
33. When caring for a patient who is pancytopenic, which action by unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) indicates a need for the nurse to intervene?
a. The UAP assists the patient to use dental floss after eating.
b. The UAP adds baking soda to the patient's saline oral rinses.
c. The UAP puts fluoride toothpaste on the patient's toothbrush.
d. The UAP has the patient rinse after meals with a saline solution.
Use of dental floss is avoided in patients with pancytopenia because of the risk for infection and bleeding. The other actions are appropriate for oral care of a pancytopenic patient.
34. The nurse supervises the care of a patient with a temporary radioactive cervical implant. Which action by unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP), if observed by the nurse, would require an intervention?
a. The UAP flushes the toilet once after emptying the patient's bedpan.
b. The UAP stands by the patient's bed for 30 minutes talking with the patient.
c. The UAP places the patient's bedding in the laundry container in the hallway.
d. The UAP gives the patient an alcohol-containing mouthwash to use for oral care.
Because patients with temporary implants emit radioactivity while the implants are in place, exposure to the patient is limited. Laundry and urine/feces do not have any radioactivity and do not require special precautions. Cervical radiation will not affect the oral mucosa, and alcohol-based mouthwash is not contraindicated.
35. The nurse receives change-of-shift report on the oncology unit. Which patient should the nurse assess first?
a. 35-year-old patient who has wet desquamation associated with abdominal radiation
b. 42-year-old patient who is sobbing after receiving a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer
c. 24-year-old patient who received neck radiation and has blood oozing from the neck
d. 56-year-old patient who developed a new pericardial friction rub after chest radiation
Because neck bleeding may indicate possible carotid artery rupture in a patient who is receiving radiation to the neck, this patient should be seen first. The diagnoses and clinical manifestations for the other patients are not immediately life threatening.
36. Which action should the nurse take when caring for a patient who is receiving chemotherapy and complains of problems with concentration?
a. Teach the patient to rest the brain by avoiding new activities.
b. Teach that "chemo-brain" is a short-term effect of chemotherapy.
c. Report patient symptoms immediately to the health care provider.
d. Suggest use of a daily planner and encourage adequate rest and sleep.
Use of tools to enhance memory and concentration such as a daily planner and adequate rest are helpful for patients who develop "chemo-brain" while receiving chemotherapy. Patients should be encouraged to exercise the brain through new activities. Chemo-brain may be short- or long-term. There is no urgent need to report common chemotherapy side effects to the provider.
37. The nurse assesses a patient with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma who is receiving an infusion of rituximab (Rituxan). Which assessment finding would require the most rapid action by the nurse?
a. Shortness of breath
b. Temperature 100.2° F (37.9° C)
c. Shivering and complaint of chills
d. Generalized muscle aches and pains
Rituximab (Rituxan) is a monoclonal antibody. Shortness of breath should be investigated rapidly because anaphylaxis is a possible reaction to monoclonal antibody administration. The nurse will need to rapidly take actions such as stopping the infusion, assessing the patient further, and notifying the health care provider. The other findings will also require action by the nurse, but are not indicative of life-threatening complications.
38. A patient who is being treated for stage IV lung cancer tells the nurse about new-onset back pain. Which action should the nurse take first?
a. Give the patient the prescribed PRN opioid.
b. Assess for sensation and strength in the legs.
c. Notify the health care provider about the symptoms.
d. Teach the patient how to use relaxation to reduce pain.
Spinal cord compression, an oncologic emergency, can occur with invasion of tumor into the epidural space. The nurse will need to assess the patient further for symptoms such as decreased leg sensation and strength and then notify the health care provider. Administration of opioids or use of relaxation may be appropriate but only after the nurse has assessed for possible spinal cord compression.
39. The nurse is caring for a patient with left-sided lung cancer. Which finding would be most important for the nurse to report to the health care provider?
a. Hematocrit 32%
b. Pain with deep inspiration
c. Serum sodium 126 mEq/L
d. Decreased breath sounds on left side
Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (and the resulting hyponatremia) is an oncologic metabolic emergency and will require rapid treatment in order to prevent complications such as seizures and coma. The other findings also require intervention, but are common in patients with lung cancer and not immediately life threatening.
40. An older adult patient who has colorectal cancer is receiving IV fluids at 175 mL/hour in conjunction with the prescribed chemotherapy. Which finding by the nurse is most important to report to the health care provider?
a. Patient complains of severe fatigue.
b. Patient needs to void every hour during the day.
c. Patient takes only 50% of meals and refuses snacks.
d. Patient has audible crackles to the midline posterior chest.
Rapid fluid infusions may cause heart failure, especially in older patients. The other findings are common in patients who have cancer and/or are receiving chemotherapy.
41. After change-of-shift report on the oncology unit, which patient should the nurse assess first?
a. Patient who has a platelet count of 82,000/µL after chemotherapy
b. Patient who has xerostomia after receiving head and neck radiation
c. Patient who is neutropenic and has a temperature of 100.5° F (38.1° C)
d. Patient who is worried about getting the prescribed long-acting opioid on time
Temperature elevation is an emergency in neutropenic patients because of the risk for rapid progression to severe infections and sepsis. The other patients also require assessments or interventions, but do not need to be assessed as urgently. Patients with thrombocytopenia do not have spontaneous bleeding until the platelets are 20,000/µL. Xerostomia (dry mouth) does not require immediate intervention. Although breakthrough pain needs to be addressed rapidly, the patient does not appear to have breakthrough pain.
1. The nurse at the clinic is interviewing a 64-year-old woman who is 5 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 125 pounds (57 kg). The patient has not seen a health care provider for 20 years. She walks 5 miles most days and has a glass of wine 2 or 3 times a week. Which topics will the nurse plan to include in patient teaching about cancer screening and decreasing cancer risk?
(SELECT ALL THAT APPLY)
a. Pap testing
b. Tobacco use
c. Sunscreen use
e. Colorectal screening
ANS: A, C, D, E
The patient's age, gender, and history indicate a need for screening and/or teaching about colorectal cancer, mammography, Pap smears, and sunscreen. The patient does not use excessive alcohol or tobacco, she is physically active, and her body weight is healthy.
2. A patient develops neutropenia after receiving chemotherapy. Which information about ways to prevent infection will the nurse include in the teaching plan? (SELECT ALL THAT APPLY)
a. Cook food thoroughly before eating.
b. Choose low fiber, low residue foods.
c. Avoid public transportation such as buses.
d. Use rectal suppositories if needed for constipation.
e. Talk to the oncologist before having any dental work done.
ANS: A, C, E
Eating only cooked food and avoiding public transportation will decrease infection risk. A high-fiber diet is recommended for neutropenic patients to decrease constipation. Because bacteria may enter the circulation during dental work or oral surgery, the patient may need to postpone dental work or take antibiotics.
When teaching a 22-year-old patient about breast self-examination (BSE), the nurse will instruct the patient that
a. BSE will reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer.
b. performing BSE right after the menstrual period will improve comfort.
c. BSE should be done daily while taking a bath or shower.
d. annual mammograms should be scheduled in addition to BSE.
Performing BSE at the end of the menstrual period will reduce the breast tenderness associated with the procedure. The evidence is not clear that BSE reduces breast cancer mortality. BSE should be done monthly. Annual mammograms are not routinely scheduled for women under age 40.
2. A patient is receiving her third course of 5-fluorouracil therapy and knows that stomatitis is a potential adverse effect of antineoplastic therapy. What will the nurse teach her about managing this problem?
a. "You can take aspirin to prevent stomatitis."
b. "Be sure to watch for and report black, tarry stools immediately."
c. "You need to increase your intake of foods containing fiber and citric acid."
d. "Be sure to examine your mouth daily for bleeding, painful areas, and ulcerations."
The symptoms of stomatitis consist of pain or burning in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, taste changes, viscous saliva, dryness, cracking, and fissures, with or without bleeding mucosa. Teach patients to avoid consuming foods containing citric acid and foods that are hot or spicy or high in fiber. Assessing stools is important but is not related to stomatitis, and aspirin must not be used during this therapy.
3. The nurse is developing a plan of care for a patient who is experiencing gastrointestinal adverse effects, including anorexia and nausea, after the first course of chemotherapy. What is an appropriate outcome for this patient when dealing with this problem?
a. The patient will eat three balanced meals a day within 2 days.
b. The patient will return to normal eating pattern within 4 weeks.
c. The patient will maintain normal weight by consuming healthy snacks as tolerated.
d. The patient will maintain a diet of small, frequent feedings with nutrition supplements within 2 weeks.
Consuming small, frequent meals with nutritional supplements, and maintaining a bland diet help to improve nutrition during chemotherapy.
4. A patient is receiving high doses of methotrexate and is experiencing severe bone marrow suppression. The nurse expects which intervention to be ordered with this drug to reduce this problem?
a. A transfusion of whole blood
b. Leucovorin rescue
c. Therapy with filgrastim (Neupogen)
d. Administration of allopurinol (Zyloprim)
High-dose methotrexate is associated with bone marrow suppression, and it is always given in conjunction with the rescue drug Leucovorin, which is an antidote for folic acid antagonists. Leucovorin protects the healthy cells from methotrexate.
5. A patient who has been on methotrexate therapy is experiencing mild pain. The patient is asking for aspirin for the pain. The nurse recognizes that which of these is true in this situation?
a. The aspirin will aggravate diarrhea.
b. The aspirin will masks signs of infection.
c. Aspirin can lead to methotrexate toxicity.
d. The aspirin will cause no problems for the patient on methotrexate.
Methotrexate interacts with weak organic acids, such as aspirin, and can lead to toxicity by displacing the methotrexate from protein-binding sites.
6. The nurse is reviewing infection-prevention measures with a patient who is receiving antineoplastic drug therapy. Which statement by the patient indicates the need for further teaching?
a. "I will avoid those who have recently had a vaccination."
b. "I will eat only fresh fruits and vegetables."
c. "I will report a sore throat, cough, or low-grade temperature."
d. "It is important for both my family and me to practice good hand washing."
ANS: B Patients who are neutropenic and susceptible to infections need to adhere to a low-microbe diet by washing fresh fruits and vegetables and making sure foods are well cooked.
7. The nurse is administering a combination of three different antineoplastic drugs to a patient who has metastatic breast cancer. Which statement best describes the rationale for combination therapy?
a. There will be less nausea and vomiting.
b. Increased cancer-cell killing will occur.
c. The drugs will prevent metastasis.
d. Combination therapy reduces the need for radiation therapy.
Because drug-resistant cells commonly develop, exposure to multiple drugs with multiple mechanisms and sites of action will destroy more subpopulations of cells.
9. The nurse is monitoring a patient who has severe bone marrow suppression following antineoplastic drug therapy. Which is considered a principal early sign of infection?
d. Elevated white blood cell count
Fever and/or chills may be the first sign of an oncoming infection. Elevated white blood cell count will not occur because of the bone marrow suppression. The other options are incorrect.
10. A patient, diagnosed with lymphoma, has an allergy to one of the proposed chemotherapy drugs. The tumor has not responded to other types of treatment. The nurse expects the oncologist to follow which course of treatment?
a. The physician will choose another drug to use.
b. The chemotherapy will be given along with supportive measures to treat a possible allergic reaction.
c. The patient will receive reduced doses of chemotherapy for a longer period of time.
d. The chemotherapy cannot be given because of the patient's allergy.
Even if a patient has a known allergic reaction to a given antineoplastic medication, the urgency of treating the patient's cancer may still necessitate administering the medication and then treating any allergic symptoms with supportive medications, such as antihistamines, corticosteroids, and acetaminophen.
1. Methotrexate is ordered for a patient with a malignant tumor, and the nurse is providing education about self-care after the chemotherapy is given. Which statements by the nurse are appropriate for the patient receiving methotrexate?
(SELECT ALL THAT APPLY)
a. Report unusual bleeding or bruising.
b. Hair loss is not expected with this drug.
c. Prepare for hair loss.
d. Avoid areas with large crowds or gatherings.
e. Avoid foods that are too hot or too cold or rough in texture.f. Restrict fluid intake to reduce nausea and vomiting.
ANS: A, C, D, E
Counsel patients who are taking methotrexate to expect hair loss and to report any unusual bleeding or bruising. Because of the possibility of infection, avoid areas with large crowds or gatherings. Foods that are too hot or too cold or rough in texture may be irritating to the oral mucosa. Fluid intake is to be encouraged to prevent dehydration.
2. When giving chemotherapy as cancer treatment, the nurse recognizes that toxicity to rapidly growing normal cells also occurs. Which rapidly growing normal cells are also harmed by chemotherapy?
(SELECT ALL THAT APPLY.)
a. Bone marrow cells
b. Retinal cells
c. Hair follicle cells
d. Nerve myelin cells
e. Gastrointestinal (GI) mucous membrane cells
ANS: A, C, E
Chemotherapy toxicities generally stem from the fact that chemotherapy drugs affect rapidly dividing cells—both harmful cancer cells and healthy, normal cells. Three types of rapidly dividing human cells are the cells of hair follicles, GI tract cells, and bone marrow cells. The other options are incorrect.
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