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Care Needs for a Patient with Cervical Cancer - Case Study Example

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This is the case study of a 30-year-old female patient with stage IB squamous cell carcinoma of cervix, for which she had been operated earlier. This case episode relates to her postoperative radiotherapy. She is a single parent with two children under age 10…
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Care Needs for a Patient with Cervical Cancer
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Care Needs for a Patient with Cervical Cancer

Download file to see previous pages... Although it is an early stage of cancer, due to its metastatic potential, the treatment offered to her was extirpative surgery in the form of Wertheim hysterectomy. This is a radical surgery by definition, and this involves surgical removal of uterus along with uterine tubes and ovaries, cervix, and upper part of the vagina. Since theoretically, cancer at this stage is microinvasive with potential for spread through lymphatic circulation, radiotherapy is usually offered to cover any possible lymph node involvement surrounding these organs (Jensen et al., 2003).
In the microinvasive stage, postoperative radiotherapy or chemotherapy or both are offered to the patient as treatment. She undergoes external beam radiotherapy, which in itself has complications, with impact on general physical wellbeing of the patient. The known complications of external beam radiation therapy are bone marrow depression, fistula formation, or bowel obstruction. Among them, bone marrow depression may lead to effects on general physical health due to its all round effects on blood cell formation, leading to anemia, increased tendency for infections, and tendency for bleeding (Christman et al., 2001). These problems may be manifested in physical examination, and the assessment must include a general physical examination (Magnan and Mood 2003). ...
Psychosocial Aspect
Cancer is a life-threatening illness and is associated with extreme suffering. The diagnosis and treatment of cancer many a times are intolerable to the patient. The knowledge about the diagnosis leads to trauma and anxiety. In most cases unawareness and misinformation are the reasons of fear, denial, guilt, and anxiety. Therefore assessment of the patient's knowledge about the disease, its treatment, anticipation, understanding, and responses to it would be very important so the patient may be helped to cope with this traumatic life situation. Social support groups, networks, and family supports have important roles to play in strengthening the psyche of such patients, which help them cope up with the trauma of suffering from the disease and the treatment (Flory 2005).
In most cases, these patients are from lower socioeconomic classes. Therefore, being itself creates a burden on the family. As anticipated, her surgery and radiotherapy have likely forced her to have long leave from the job, and such long absence is not usually reimbursed. This would lead to financial crisis for the family, leading to more stress and anxiety due to the thought about ways to support her family or children. This may be compounded further sue to the anxiety that this cancer may leave her incapacitated enough, bedridden, or may even cause her death, creating problem for financial support in raising the children (Flory 2005).
Loss of Body Image
Extirpation of the most vital female organ, namely, the uterus and adnexae leads to excessive stress in females undergoing this surgery. This may lead to disturbed body image which needs to be attended to.
Care Requirement
Physical Assessment
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