it sounds to me like this is a rather large undertaking that you have to do. here is a listing of websites to help you collect information on this subject. after them is a discussion about symptoms, choosing nursing diagnoses and nursing interventions.
- breast disorders and breast cancer screening from the cleveland clinic disease management project. this article includes information about the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
- article on breast cancer from emedicine. includes the pathophysiology, symptoms, workup and treatment. this is written for physicians so may be a tad difficult to wade through at times.
define medical terms
- here is a glossary of breast cancer terms from the cleveland clinic
- the dictionary of cancer terms from the national cancer institute where you can look up terms related to cancer.
signs and symptoms
- this is the medline plus encyclopedia entry for breast cancer. it includes a number of illustrations that you can enlarge, the signs and symptoms, commonly ordered tests, treatments and complications.
- breast cancer: steps to finding breast lumps early. at the bottom of the page are other changes to look for in the breast besides lumps.
- about your breasts. from the national cancer institute. there are more links to information on breast cancer at the left side of the page.
nursing interventions will be based on the signs and symptoms. when you are doing a case study based on an imaginary patient you have to use signs and symptoms that are used to define the medical diagnosis, in this case the medical diagnosis of breast cancer. a symptom is merely an objective observation or a subjective perception of a patient and they are not exclusively for the use of the physician.
you begin the process of choosing a nursing diagnosis by making a list of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer from the information you collected from the above weblinks on breast cancer. each nursing diagnosis is defined by specific signs and symptoms. for breast cancer there most likely won't be many physical symptoms other than the presence of a lump. for many, the psychological symptoms and need for knowledge and information about what is going to happen or is going on with them is usually a greater concern for the nurses. we find these "symptoms" when we nurses assess the patient for their adls and interacting within their immediate environment. something you can do is think about how you might feel if you were told you had breast cancer. how would you feel? what kind of plans would you want to start making? what else would you want to know? how would you cope with it? the answer to questions like this help us nurses find more problems that the patient might need help with. some possible nursing diagnoses (these are current nanda nursing diagnoses) that might apply to someone newly diagnosed with breast cancer might be:
- deficient knowledge
- spiritual distress
- anticipatory grieving
- death anxiety
- decisional conflict
- disturbed sleep pattern
as the person progresses through treatment, other symptoms related to the complications and side effects of surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy will present themselves. there will be other nursing diagnoses that will be appropriate to choose for those new symptoms that will come about from the treatment (i.e. nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, skin problems from radiation therapy + more).
any nursing interventions will be based on a patient's signs and symptoms. you will find them in your nursing textbook by looking under the specific symptoms (i.e. anxiety). if you are absolutely sure of the nursing diagnoses you are going to use you can check in a nursing care plan book for a care plan for a patient with breast cancer or in a nursing diagnosis handbook which will have goals, outcomes and nursing interventions listed with each nursing diagnosis. you can also access those online (not all nursing diagnoses are listed) at these two care plan constructor sites:
- http://www1.us.elsevierhealth.com/me...ctor/index.cfm - this is a list of the nursing diagnoses that are available for viewing on the website. just click on one for the accompanying page to come up.
- http://www1.us.elsevierhealth.com/ev...e/constructor/ - you want to know which nursing diagnosis you want to look for, or have a specific symptom the patient is experiencing in mind. in the area where is says "start new plan" you want to click on the alphabetic range that the diagnosis or symptom you are looking for will be and click on those letters. a page of links will come up. clicking on symptoms will give you a list of potential nursing diagnoses. clicking on a nursing diagnosis will take you to that particular nursing diagnosis page.
to help you with the project you should check out the posts on the following threads which have to do with the nursing process and care planning:
and finally, here are five case studies on cancer patients that were done by students at south dakota state university school of nursing which the instructor has posted on her website. unfortunately, i could not find one on breast cancer. however, you should look at how each student has presented the information to give you an idea of how they are organized. good luck. don't hesitate to ask for more help if you need it with this project!