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The Diagnosis and Staging of Cancer

Cancer Care

Global spending on medical care is a major fiscal challenge in many countries. According to Brenner (2002), expenditures for terminal diseases will increase tremendously in the coming years. According to Brenner (2002), the number of cancer patients is on the rise. This is true because more citizens are getting older in the country. Every innovation or new technology seems to increase the cost of diagnosing and treating cancer. The government should reconsider the best practices towards providing high-quality and affordable cancer care to every patient. This essay describes the diagnosis and staging of cancer. It also highlights three complications associated with cancer. The discussion offers a detailed approach towards better care of cancer.

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The current cost of cancer care makes it impossible to address the needs of different patients. Many cancer patients cannot afford quality medical services for cancer. This explains why all stakeholders should work together to minimize the costs of cancer treatment. These stakeholders should ensure every patient receives quality and affordable cancer care. Cancer care is a “dynamic practice that calls for proper coordination and support” (Balogh et al., 2013, p. 54). Clinicians and caregivers should understand the best practices to provide better care to every cancer patient.

Diagnosis and Staging of Cancer

Doctors examine the presence of cancerous cells by looking at the affected tissues. This is done using a powerful microscope (Balogh et al., 2013). A biopsy involves the removal of small pieces of the affected tissues. The doctor uses a powerful microscope to examine the infected tissue. This procedure informs the doctor whether there are cancerous or benign tumors in the tissue (Brenner, 2002). Doctors can use three methods to remove body tissue for examination. The first process is endoscopy. This process entails the use of a lighted tube to examine internal body areas or organs. Needle biopsy occurs when the doctor takes some tissue samples from the infected areas. A clinician inserts a sharp needle into the suspected tissue or area. Doctors can also use surgical biopsies to remove tumors (Balogh et al., 2013). The next stage is determining the hostility of cancer.

Staging helps the doctor identify the stage of cancer. The results obtained help the doctor make the relevant treatment decisions. Cancer has four unique stages. The first stage is in situ whereby cancer has not spread to other body organs or tissues. The local stage is whereby the cancer is in its original organ. The regional stage occurs after the disease attacks new organs or lymph nodes. The distant stage occurs when cancer has spread to different body systems or organs (Balogh et al., 2013). The stage of the condition dictates the effectiveness of the treatment process.

Three Complications of Cancer: Side Effects and Lessening Psychological and Physical Effects

The “patient’s health and age determine the complications associated with the condition” (Brenner, 2002, p. 1132). Such complications can be life-changing and painful. The first complication can be either emotional or mental. Cancer patients may develop mood disorders, anxiety, or depression. Some patients will become sad and disoriented. This explains why many patients try to commit suicide. The second one is a physical complication. One example of this complication is pain. Cancerous cells will spread to other tissues and organs. This process causes a lot of pain or discomfort. Pain can be “neuropathic, somatic, or visceral” (Brenner, 2002, p. 1133). The third complication is metastasis. This complication occurs after the condition infects other body tissues or the lymphatic system. This complication causes death because the cancerous cells attack vital organs such as the brain.

Doctors treat cancer using chemotherapy and radiation. These treatment methods produce some side effects. Radiation therapy causes short-term side effects. Some of these side effects include “irritation, throat pain, discomfort, and hoarseness” (Thirumala, Ramaswamy, & Chawla, 2009, p. 73). Some long-term effects might include jaw pains, cavities, and damage to salivary glands. Chemotherapy can also result in nausea and hair loss. The method also weakens the body’s immune system (Brenner, 2002). Most of these short-term side effects disappear after treatment.

Psychotherapy and support groups can help patients lessen the psychological effects of cancer. The practice can help many patients manage stress and depression. The patients can also consult their doctors and counselors to overcome these effects (Thirumala et al., 2009). Every doctor should identify the source of pain before providing the best medication. The practice will help more patients manage pain. Some useful medications for pain include opioids such as oxycodone, morphine, and codeine.

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Important Lessons

The above practices are essential for diagnosing and treating cancer. Doctors and clinicians can increase the quality of healthcare to obtain better results. Nurses should always provide better outcomes for cancer patients. Clinicians should also provide timely and accurate information to their patients. This will become a critical aspect of high-quality and timely care. Clinicians should also consider the best practices in order to deliver quality care (Brenner, 2002). Every hospital should use the best practices in order to lengthen survival. The government should encourage the use of EMRs in order to offer evidence-based cancer support. More studies will help clinicians address the health needs of many cancer patients.

Reference List

Balogh, E., Bach, P., Eisenberg, P., Ganz, P., Green, R., Gruman, J.,… Ya-Chen Shih, T. (2013). Practice-Changing Strategies to Deliver Affordable, High-Quality Cancer Care: Summary of an Institute of Medicine Workshop. Journal of Oncology Practice, 9(6), 54-59.

Brenner, H. (2002). Long-term survival rates of cancer patients achieved by the end of the 20th century: a period analysis. Lancet, 360(1), 1131-1135.

Thirumala, R., Ramaswamy, M., & Chawla, S. (2009). Diagnosis and Management of Infectious Complications in Critically Ill Patients with Cancer. Critical Care Clinics, 26(1), 59-91.

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