Lungcancer is the tendency of either one or both lungs to experience anuncontrolled growth resulting in abnormal cells. Instead ofdeveloping into healthy tissues, the abnormal cells form tumors afterundergoing rapid division. Once these tumors enlarge and increase innumber, the lung’s functionality is undermined. The tumors take twodifferent forms with the one that occupies one part of the lungreferred to as benign tumors while the malignant tumors are the onesthat affect one area but, spread to other areas of the lung. InAmerica, lung cancer claims 158,040 deaths annually(National Cancer Institute, 2015).Smoking cause most of the lung cancer, although there are othercauses such as exposure to certain chemical pollutant. The liver isthe most damaged organ by chemical agents as it is the place wheremany drugs and chemicals are metabolized (Huether,& McCance, 2013).In America, 13.3% of all new cases of cancer involve lung cancer(National Cancer Institute, 2015). Besides, the disease claims more lives compared to colon, breast, andprostate cancer types combined. There are several methods that areused by physicians to diagnose the diseases which include CT scans,PET scan, MRI scans, and chest X-rays. Additionally, diagnosis oflung cancer involves three types of examination chest examination,physical examination, and the blood contained in a person’s sputum.However, the only sure way to make a diagnosis is to extract thetumors after which they are examined using a microscope a methodreferred to as a biopsy. If the diagnosis turns positive, anoncologist determines the extent of the disease a process that alsoreveals the stage of the disease. The disease undergoes four stagesdepending on the spread of the lymph nodes. Stage one is when thenodes are only present in one lung and when the lymph nodes have notformed yet but, when the lymph nodes have surrounded the lung withthe tumor, the disease is said to be in stage two. Stage three iswhen the sides of the chest wall, diaphragm and the trachea next tothe infected lung contain lymph nodes. When the neck or the otherlung contains the lymph nodes, the patient is diagnosed with stagethree lung cancer. Stage four lung cancer occurs when the canceroustissues have spread into the previously uninfected lung andthroughout the person’s body. The treatment method and cost differwith the stage of the disease as this determine the method to be usedto contain it. Some of the methods available for patients sufferingfrom lung cancer include immunotherapy, chemotherapy, surgery, andtargeted therapies, among others. Treatment for the disease isexpensive, and most of it go to hospitalization. For instance,according to Guerin, et al., (2015), patients who chose to undertakeantineoplastic treatment incur an average cost of $22,160, with$9,202 going to pharmacy, $6419 to inpatient services, $1179 toimaging cost, and $2888 for outpatient treatment.
Thenursing fraternity plays an important role in containing lung cancer.For instance, according to Lehto (2014), the nurses have aneducational and advocacy role as far as lung cancer is concerned asthey help the person suffering from the disease and their familiesmake informed personal health care decisions. The purpose of thispaper is to explore lung cancer in terms of the types, morbidity,mortality, prevalence, treatment as well as its relevance to thenursing fraternity.
Guérin,A., Sasane, M., Wakelee, H., Zhang, J., Culver, K., Dea, K., &Macalalad, A. R. (2015). Treatment, overall survival, and costs inpatients with ALK-positive non-small-cell lung cancer aftercrizotinib monotherapy.Currentmedical research and opinion, 31(8),1587-1597.Accessed from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26029864
Huether,S. E., & McCance, K. L. (2013). Understandingpathophysiology.Elsevier Health Sciences.
Lehto,R. H. (2014). Lung cancer screening guidelines. The nurse’s role inpatient education and advocacy. Clin.J. Oncol. Nurs, 18(3),338-342.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24867114
NationalCancer Institute, 2015. “Cancer Fact Sheet.” Accessed on March17, 2016, http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/lungb.html