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Under normal circumstances, cells deemed to be normal multiply when the human body needs them. When they are no longer needed, these cells die. However, for an individual with cancer, the growth as well as division of cells tends to be rather abnormal. The death of cancerous cells also differs from that of normal body cells. In this text, I concern myself with cancer. In so doing, I highlight the approach to the care of the disease while describing both its diagnosis and staging. Further, in addition to highlighting a number of complications occasioned by cancer and how they can be treated, I also describe the side effects of treatments. Lastly, with a special emphasis on the psychological/physiological side effects of care, I provide recommendations on the best approaches to handle the said side effects.
The Approach to Care of Cancer
In this section, I will largely limit myself to the palliative care approach. In basic terms, palliative care in the field of medicine is designed to prevent, relieve as well as ease patient suffering. In our context, the relevance of palliative care cannot be overstated when it comes to the control as well as care of cancer. According to Barraclough (2007):
"The palliative care approach has always emphasized the control of pain and other physical symptoms, included families and carers as well as patients, and taken a 'whole-person' perspective that includes the spiritual aspects of illness and dying."
The effectiveness of this approach has got to do with its all inclusive approach to care. This approach hence plays a significant role towards the improvement of the patient's quality of life. Although this approach can be adopted at any stage of the disease, it comes across as being best suited for those at the advanced stage of cancer.
Diagnosis and Staging of Cancer
According to White (2005), a number of diagnostic tests can be utilized in the detection of cancer. In this case, the author groups the diagnostic tests into three main groups including laboratory tests, radiologic studies and invasive diagnostic techniques. However, it is important to note that in the opinion of the National Center for Biomedical Information -- NCBI (2010), a biopsy (which is essentially an invasive diagnostic technique) is used in the diagnosis of most cancers. NCBI (2010) further points out that as far as cancer diagnosis is concerned, CT scans may be carried out so as to determine the tumor(s) precise size as well as location.
Staging according to White (2005) has got to do with the determination of "the extent of the spread of cancer." The American Cancer Society (2012) views staging as the process utilized in an attempt to determine the amount as well as location of cancer in the human body. In White's (2005) opinion, the relevance of staging has got to do with the influence it has on decisions relating to the modalities of treatment. Staging according to the author also aids in the prediction of overall prognosis. For purposes of selecting the most relevant treatment approach for an individual with cancer, it is imperative that doctors know the amount of cancer in the affected individual's body. This in the opinion of the American Cancer Society (2012) could for instance help doctors determine the disease's most likely course. In general terms, staging can be divided into two i.e. pathologic staging and clinical staging. When it comes to clinical staging, the American Cancer Society (2012) points out that the same seeks to approximate the amount of cancer through the utilization of approaches such as biopsies (tumor), imaging tests and physical exam. The society however further notes that in some instances, some cancers call for the utilization of blood tests as well as a number of other tests during staging.
Pathological testing on the other hand according to the American Cancer Society (2012) mainly utilizes information sourced from the surgical procedures undertaken. For this reason, this type of staging is also in some quarters referred to as surgical staging. Due to its utilization of surgery, this approach to staging comes across as being perhaps more precise than clinical staging. Indeed, in the opinion of the American Cancer Society (2012), this staging type avails to "the health care team more precise information that can be used to predict treatment response and outcomes (prognosis)."
Treatment of Cancer: Complications
To begin with, NCBI (2010) considers spread as one…[continue]
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