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Nursing School

Diagnosis Cards
Helpful Sites
Diagnosis Cards
Nursing 103
Nursing 104
Nursing 205
Nursing 206

These things are torture. This is just a sample, and doesn't actually count, since there are so many types of cancer, but most of this is true for most cancers.

Let me know if you have any questions/anything to add...



Pathophysiology: Malignant neoplasia marked by uncontrolled growth of cells, often with invasion of healthy tissue locally or throughtout the body. DNA mutations cause 1. Conversion of protooncogenes to oncogenes 2. Inhibition of tumor suppressor genes & 3. Inhibition of DNA repair genes. In step 1 the protooncogenes which were regulared are now oncogenes which continuously produce growth related proteins. Step 2 turns off the genes that would normally suppress oncogenes. Step 3 turns off the genes that encode proteins to fix DNA so the cells cannot regain control. After a cell becomes cancerous it multiplies rapidly in one place but untreated it will spread through the circulatory system.


Symptoms: pain, malnutrition, weakness, fatigue, bone fractures, stroke-like syndrome, malaise; change in bowel or bladder habits, a sore that does not heal, unusual bleeding & discharge; thickening or mass in breast or other body part, indigestion or difficulty swallowing; obvious change in wart or mole; nagging cough or horseness 


Causes:  Cigarette smoking, second-hand smoke, occupational exposure to carcinogens such as asbestos, uranium, nickel, and chromate; ionizing radiation, UV light, some viruses, drugs that damage nucleic acids may initiate genetic lesions that result in cancer; heredity


Diagnostic Tests: endoscopy, radiography (x-ray, CT, MRI, untrasound, mammography), examination of cytological specimen, review of biopsy specimen; Screening: Pap smear, mammography, PSA, occult blood test


Medical Treatments: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation


Nursing Implications: Assessment:  VS, I/O, psychosocial/emotional status, perception of Dx, knowledge level, status of other body systems, body weight, skin turgor, mucous membrane condition; assess support network, impact of illness on family, employment, lifestyle, sexuality; assess perceived life stress & usual coping patterns, $ status/worries; current medications (Rx & OTC)      


Care:  Monitor and record VS and I/O, maintain diet, maintain IV fluids and IV site integrity if applicable, assist with personal and oral hygiene, provide for patient comfort, explain all procedures and obtain written informed consent, monitor and record the above assessment, encourage adherence to medication regiment, document pt pain patterns & response to interventions, individualize home care instructions; encourage active participation in all decision making; provide pt w/ relevant reading material/information on support groups.


Corwin – Handbook of Pathophysiology

Phipps – Med-Surg Nursing

Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary

NOTHING on this website is to take the place of a physician's advice. Everything in this site is meant to be only a helpful tool for me and my nursing student friends.

Feel compelled to help me get through college while working only part-time and driving a million miles a day? Well, I won't twist your arm, but all you have to do is push the button. Either way, the information is free.