Nursing Care for Cancer Patients

Abstract

Cancer is a leading cause of death globally. It contributes to about ten million deaths annually. Approximately eighteen million new cancer cases are diagnosed globally every year. For every 100 000 men and women, 190 are diagnosed with cancer annually. Eighty percent of the cancer burden is found in developing countries. The heavy burden of cancer on the healthcare system calls for a better understanding of nursing care for cancer patients. Nursing care is essential for healthcare professionals since nurses are the most significant task force and are closest to cancer patients. Thus, understanding nursing care for cancer patients will enhance the quality of care the interprofessional team provides and promote better health outcomes for cancer patients. This paper explores nursing care for cancer patients and the various nursing interventions for cancer patients. Nursing care for cancer patients will be analyzed using a literature review and an in-depth synthesis of available literature. The literature will be evaluated based on the level of evidence being current. The findings of this paper will help inform evidence-based interventions in nursing care for cancer patients.

Nursing Care for Cancer Patients

Cancer is a group of diseases that involve uncontrollable cellular growth and maturation. Cancers can develop from any body tissue, with the manifestations resulting from the inability to control the proliferation and development of cells. Cancer patients require various care services ranging from pain management to emotional support. Nurses play a huge role in handling cancer patients. Nurses develop care plans used for cancer patients. The care plans involve pain management, support for therapies, emotional support, nutritional promotion, and various assessments. They also develop care interventions and are responsible for giving the rationale of the intervention to the patients and other interprofessional team members. This essay focuses on the various nursing interventions for cancer patients and the role of nursing care on cancer patients.

Literature Review

Existing literature on nursing care and nursing interventions was searched from reputable databases and journals. The selected sources were only peer-reviewed and searched using the google scholar search engine. The search was customized to produce results from current (published within the last five years) peer-reviewed sources using the search phrase, nursing care and nursing interventions for cancer patients. Information from reputable government websites such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention was also incorporated in the literature review for current statistics and cancer trends.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.), different types of cancers require different treatments, thus particular nursing interventions. Cancer survivor is the term given to cancer patients from the time they are diagnosed throughout their lives. Surviving cancer is heavily dependent on nursing care and interventions. Nursing interventions should encompass emotional, mental, physical, and social support. They also involve cancer treatment side effects, follow-up treatment, the risk of cancer reoccurrence, and the quality of life (CDC.gov, n.d.). Therefore, nursing care for cancer patients is vital.

The National Cancer Institute has outlined the general guidelines that oncology nurses use to develop care plans and nursing interventions. It also shows the statistical trends in cancer, thus helping healthcare professionals understand the impact of cancer on society and the healthcare system. Collaboration between cancer patients, their caregivers, and the nurses is essential in ensuring better health outcomes and reducing the cancer burden (The National Cancer Institute, n.d.)

Cancer is among the leading causes of death globally due to the many risk factors such as an aging society, physical inactivity, obesity, and smoking, among others. Thus, nursing care for cancer patients is an essential part of nursing. According to Frith and Chao (2022), high-quality nursing care is required for cancer patients, from preventive to palliative care. To maintain high-quality nursing care, oncology nurses require continuous advanced education, nursing orientation, oncology competencies, and specialization, thus improving their knowledge and skills. Nurses caring for cancer patients play an integral role in all care settings. They coordinate patient care among the interprofessional team, medical records documentation, symptom management, referrals, patient education, and follow-ups for cancer patients (Frith and Chao, 2022).

One of the special populations in cancer care is the geriatric patient population. With the aging society, most cancer patients are elderly. Thus, the focus of nursing care on this population is essential. Puts et al. (2021) note that geriatric patients are greatly affected by stress related to cancer treatment. Thus, nurses play a huge role in developing care plans and interventions that encompass other needs of geriatric patients. Additionally, they provide optimal care to cancer patients by offering extra support to their families and caregivers.

Furthermore, oncology nursing care significantly contributes to the care continuum (Young et al., 2020). The cancer care continuum describes the various stages of cancer, including etiology, prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and end of care. Oncology nurses are engaged in all the stages of the continuum. They develop people-centered and integrative care plans for cancer patients, ensuring optimal communication and collaboration of professionals (Young et al., 2020). Nurses not only support cancer patients along the cancer continuum but are also involved in indirect patient support, such as advocating for unmet needs, thus producing better outcomes for cancer patients.

In conclusion, literature has shown evidence of the contribution of nursing care for cancer patients in cancer prevention, risk reduction, and survivorship. Nurse-led cancer interventions and evidence-based innovations have significantly addressed the cancer burden (Charalambous et al., 2018). Nurses also participate in nursing cancer trials across the cancer spectrum, thus improving nursing care for cancer patients. Oncology nursing roles are therefore essential in caring for cancer patients.

References

Charalambous, A., Wells, M., Campbell, P., Torrens, C., Östlund, U., Oldenmenger, W., Patiraki, E., Sharp, L., Nohavova, I., Domenech, N., Neicher, M., Farrel, C., Larson, M., Olsson, C., Simpson, M., Wiseman, T. & Kelly, D. (2018). A scoping review of trials of interventions led or delivered by cancer nurses. International Journal of Nursing Studies86, 36-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.05.014

Frith, J., & Chao, N. J. (2022). Oncology Nursing Care. In The Comprehensive Cancer Center (pp. 57-62). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-82052-7_7

Puts, M., Strohschein, F., Oldenmenger, W., Haase, K., Newton, L., Fitch, M., Sattar, R., Stlz-Basket, P., Jin, R., Louks A., Nightingale, G. & Kenis, C. (2021). Position statement on oncology and cancer nursing care for older adults with cancer and their caregivers of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology Nursing and Allied Health Interest Group, the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology Oncology & Aging Special Interest Group, and the European Oncology Nursing Society. Journal of Geriatric Oncology12(7), 1000-1004. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jgo.2021.03.010

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Cancer Patients: Diagnosis and Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/survivors/patients/treatments.htm

The National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). About Cancer, Cancer Types, Clinical Trials, and Research. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/

Young, A. M., Charalambous, A., Owen, R. I., Njodzeka, B., Oldenmenger, W. H., Alqudimat, M. R., & So, W. K. W. (2020). Essential oncology nursing care along the cancer continuum. The Lancet Oncology, 21(12), e555–e563. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1470-2045(20)30612-4  

Annotated Bibliography

Frith, J., & Chao, N. J. (2022). Oncology Nursing Care. In The Comprehensive Cancer Center (pp. 57-62). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-82052-7_7

In this article, Frith and Chao (2022) discuss the role of nursing care and nursing interventions for cancer patients in different hospital settings. The settings include inpatient clinical serving units, ambulatory settings, outside the clinical setting, and the role in palliative care and hospice. The article also identifies what oncology nurses need to successfully deliver care to cancer patients.

Puts, M., Strohschein, F., Oldenmenger, W., Haase, K., Newton, L., Fitch, M., Sattar, R., Stlz-Basket, P., Jin, R., Louks A., Nightingale, G. & Kenis, C. (2021). Position statement on oncology and cancer nursing care for older adults with cancer and their caregivers of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology Nursing and Allied Health Interest Group, the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology Oncology & Aging Special Interest Group, and the European Oncology Nursing Society. Journal of Geriatric Oncology12(7), 1000-1004. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jgo.2021.03.010

With the aging global population and the increase of geriatric cancer patients, this article evaluates the current roles of cancer nursing care to the patients and their caregivers. The authors identify four significant roles of cancer nursing care for older patients: advocating for special care needs for geriatric cancer patients, identifying educational needs, recognizing other age-related issues, and supporting geriatric patients during and after cancer treatment. The article also identifies nurses’ need to provide high-quality interventions to geriatric cancer patients.

Young, A. M., Charalambous, A., Owen, R. I., Njodzeka, B., Oldenmenger, W. H., Alqudimat, M. R., & So, W. K. W. (2020). Essential oncology nursing care along the cancer continuum. The Lancet Oncology, 21(12), e555–e563. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1470-2045(20)30612-4  

In this article, Young et al. (2020) explore the role of oncology nursing care to cancer patients and their contribution to the continuum of care. The authors emphasize the importance of delivering people-centered integrative care and using optimal communication when delivering care for cancer patients. They also establish that nursing care for cancer patients should be delivered as a team and that nurses should be involved in the development of national cancer strategies.

Charalambous, A., Wells, M., Campbell, P., Torrens, C., Östlund, U., Oldenmenger, W., Patiraki, E., Sharp, L., Nohavova, I., Domenech, N., Neicher, M., Farrel, C., Larson, M., Olsson, C., Simpson, M., Wiseman, T. & Kelly, D. (2018). A scoping review of trials of interventions led or delivered by cancer nurses. International Journal of Nursing Studies86, 36-43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.05.014

With the increased prevalence and incidence of cancers, this article investigates expanding the nursing roles for cancer patients to meet the growing demand for cancer care. The study synthesizes the nursing interventions facilitated and delivered to cancer patients. According to Charalambous et al. (2018), nurses play a huge role in evidence-based innovations for interventions for cancer patients. Nurse-led cancer interventions have significantly contributed to cancer prevention, risk reduction, and survival during treatment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Cancer Patients: Diagnosis and Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/survivors/patients/treatments.htm

The site provides the current statistics for cancer patients, the different types of cancers and their prevalence, and the guidelines for nursing interventions for treating and diagnosing cancer patients. It also provides information on the treatment types and guidelines for clinical trials. The information included on the site also guides healthcare providers in developing survival care plans for cancer patients.

The National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). About Cancer, Cancer Types, Clinical Trials, and Research. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/

This site provides information on cancer, cancer types, and cancer research sources. It also has information on the causes of cancer, prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, and staging, which are essential for cancer patients and their caregivers. It also has general guidelines in cancer treatment, which nurses can use to develop interventions for cancer patients.

 

 

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