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Lung Cancer Patient

Info: 1790 words (7 pages) Nursing Essay
Published: 11th Feb 2020

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Lung Cancer

One of the most common types of cancer is lung cancer or lung carcinoma which is a tumor that worsens and will continue to metastasize or spread if it is not prevented or given a cure. It does not usually appear in the age of forty years old and below. It is more pronounced in males than in females at the age of forty-five years old and above. Case studies show that around 80% of the women are now suffering from lung cancer.

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There are several risk factors that causes lung cancer such as inhalation of air pollution, radon gas, coming in contact with asbestos, arsenic and radiation for example are connected to the occurrence of lung cancer. Chances of inheriting lung cancer is small and being a second-hand smoker candidates a person to have lung cancer as well. Case studies show that cigarette smoking is the primary culprit for getting lung cancer. (Merck Manual, 2003)

Lung cancer due to prolonged cigarette smoking and especially in large amounts slowly progresses into a tumor or cancer in the lung. The following case study is about a gentleman in his middle 60’s and has lung cancer. Mr. Virgil T. Carter, the patient in this case study, lives on a farm outside a small rural town, Jefferson. There are only few medical services where he lives. He was diagnosed with a tumor located in the middle lobe of his right lung. He then struggles to get well through treatment by surgery, radiation therapy, proper nutrition, obtaining support from his family, physical adaptation to his condition and having a positive outlook. (Rodger M., 2008)

The purpose of this study was to investigate what happens to the patient before, during and after his lung cancer treatment. The patient’s experiences with lung cancer will be stated. Accompanying research to support the facts will also be mentioned in this case study.

Episode 1:

a) Mr. Carter’s experiences:

On July 12, 2007 Mr. Carter sought medical attention. It all started when the patient started coughing up blood seven days ago. On the first day it began, he coughed up blood three times in the amount of about 15ml separately. Symptoms set in where his coughing was regular for the past three months with no blood. He felt shortness of breath while wheezing. He felt tired and weak during that time. Three years ago, the patient would smoke about thirty packs per year then he stopped. He ate a well-balanced diet then. He drank three to four cans of alcohol every week and his overall physical state was normal until he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He is a father of three and a husband. He works as a farmer and is usually exposed to dust and would work about eight to twelve hours per day but then he had to stop three months ago due to the symptoms that he was experiencing. He loves interacting with other people and loves his work but he constantly felt the shortness of breath whenever he exerts force. The patient sought medical attention and was tested for hemoptysis and chest x-ray. He was co-operative with the medical staff and was informed that a lobectomy will be done. (Rodger M. & Bruce R.N., 2008)

b) My research:

Mr. Carter shows the symptoms of a person suffering from lung cancer and it includes constant coughing that will not stop and it worsens if it’s prolonged and eventually, blood is expelled upon coughing. The patient will feel chest pains, feeling of tiredness, repeated shortness of breath in between wheezing, the patient gradually would lose interest in eating and eventually lose weight. (MedlinePlus, 1999)

The patient is diagnosed through a chest x-ray where a shadow may be seen on the x-ray film, a Computed Tomography Scan shows nodules that the x-ray cannot show. A sputum examination may also be enough to provide adequate information for lung cancer. (Merck, 1995-2008)

A lobectomy is a procedure wherein one entire lobe in the lung is removed. This will limit the spread of the lung cancer. (About.com, 2008)

Episode 2:

a) Mr. Carter’s experiences:

On July 13, 2007, Mr. Carter underwent radiograph tests. On July 21, 2007 he underwent lobectomy. After the surgery, he said that he already wanted to go home. He feels that his health is improving. The patient wants to go home irregardless of his coughing. He was tolerating the therapy which was a good sign and healing of his wound was better. During physical therapy, the patient complains for pain in the chest and he was unable to sleep peacefully throughout the night. The patient’s lips have turned to the color of blue and so were his nail beds on his toes and fingers. He feels dizziness when he attempts to rise from his bed and he needed support when walking due to this and accompanied with shortness of breath. The patient co-operates with the medical staff even if he felt terrible with his condition.

During physical therapy, the patient would respond by nodding his head for “yes” and would shake his head for “no”. He was in pain and felt too tired. The patient can already sit up in bed but he is still weak and easily exhausted even when he’s asked to participate in light ADL’s [activity of daily living]. He would tidy himself by washing his face and brushing his hair. He could eat just about one meal per week by himself. (Rodger M. & Bruce R.N., 2008)

b) My research:

Post-surgery in lobectomy may allow a patient to be discharged from the hospital in a week’s time. Although, lobectomy may make a patient face the challenge to contract pneumonia, have bleeding, have an infection or they may experience adverse reactions to the medication or anesthesia used during the operating procedure. (About.com, 2008)

Episode 3:

a) Mr. Carter’s experiences:

On August 2, 2007, Mr. Carter is feeling better, though his body still feels sore. He would only cough whenever he would take deep breaths and this causes pain to his chest. He doesn’t have a fever and has been very co-operative by taking all of his medications. He doesn’t eat a lot because he complains that it doesn’t taste good. He would only finish half of his food and would feel tired during this time. Mr. Carter was provided a dietary plan to give him energy and heal properly.

Mr. Carter is scheduled for radiation therapy at least two to four weeks after being discharged from the hospital. This will enable him to heal and recover properly.

The patient has limited energy to move around or even do tasks. He feels a little pain when doing normal work. He feels calm and peaceful. He has a high energy level. He would fell downhearted and feel a little blue some of the time. The patient feels very badly since he doesn’t do anything helpful but watch the television all day or spend the whole day in bed. The patient is affected emotionally by feeling hopeless and shortness of breath increased. This limited his movement once again. (Rodger M. & Bruce R.N., 2008)

b) My research:

In the case of the patient, Mr. Carter, not only needs lobectomy, but he requires radiation therapy as well as not all of the cancer cells has been removed. At this stage, the patient’s body is still recovering and fighting the cancer cells. (Merck, 2008)

Episode 4:

a) Mr. Carter’s experiences:

On January 29, 2007, Mr. Carter only feels a little shortness of breath when wheezing and no pain in the chest is felt. Though, he still feels weak and has withdrawn himself from the family by not joining in on their activities. Patient still doesn’t feel like eating but he tries to consume a little food for energy. His weight has dropped because of inadequate intake of food. He feels tired most of the time. He has lesser periods of shortness of breath compared to what he felt before. He feels agitated when his wife tries to provide him care. This is probably due to the wife’s attitude towards her husband because he doesn’t do anything at home.

He mentioned that he feels more energized compared to the previous appointment for Occupational Therapy. He can already dress and bathe all by himself. He would rest from time to time in the middle of his simple daily activities. (Rodger M. & Bruce R.N., 2008)

b) My research:



Linda L.H. Steven T., Mark J. “Lung Cancer Screening with Sputum Cytologic

Examination, Chest Radiography, and Computed Tomography: An Update for

the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.” American College of Physicians.

Annals of Internal Medicine. 4 May 2004. 29 January 2008.


“Lung Cancer: Cancer of the Lungs.” Merck Manual Home Edition.1995-2008. 29

January 2008. http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec04/ch057/ch057a.html#sec04-


“Lung Carcinoma: Tumors of the Lungs.” Merck Manual Professional. 1995-2008. 29

January 2008. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec05/ch062/ch062b.html#sec05-


“Lung Cancer symptoms treatment information research charity” Association For

International Cancer Research 2004-2005. 29 January 2008. http://www.aicr.org.uk/lungcancerfaqs.stm?source=Adwords

National Library of Medicine “Lung cancer – small cell” MedlinePlus Medical

Encyclopedia: Lung Cancer. 19 March 1999. 29 January 2008.


“Cancer – Lung Cancer Risk Factors” Department of Health and Human Services.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2007. 29 January 2008.


“Lung Cancer Causes, Symptoms, Signs, Stages, Treatment and Diagnosis on

MedicineNet.com”. MedicineNet, Inc. 1996-2008. 29 January 2008.


“Lung Cancer” oncologychannel. 1998-2008. 29 January 2008


Rodger M. & Bruce R.N. “WHISSL – Worldwide Health Information System Simulation

Linkage.” WHISSL. 29 January 2008. http://whissl.utmb.edu/WHISSL/index.asp

“Lobectomy – Lung Cancer Surgery – Lobectomy and Lung Cancer.” About.com. 2008.

29 January 2008. http://cancer.about.com/od/lungcancersurgery/p/lobectomy.htm


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