The patient, a 45-year old female, complains about fatigue and weight loss. She also has persistent cough. The patient reports that she has no relatives with lung cancer or disease. On physical examination the patient had decreased right-side breath sounds and chest xrays revealed that there was a mass in her right lung. The diagnosis is confirmed by biopsy.
Non-small-cell lung cancer can be a complicated disease. It involves mutations in genes, cellular processes and environmental factors. The patient presented with fatigue, weight loss and persistent cough. These symptoms are indicative of lung carcinoma. Further confirmation of the diagnosis is the decreased sound quality on the right side as well as the chest x-ray mass.
Cellular processes are involved in lung cancer development and progression. These include changes in cell proliferation and apoptosis and DNA repair. TP53 and EGFR are the most common genes implicated in lung carcinoma. Lung cancer can also be caused by environmental factors like smoking and exposure to radon.
Patients’ health is at stake when non-small cell lung carcinoma is diagnosed. If left untreated, the disease could cause significant morbidity or even death. There are three treatment options available for lung cancer: surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. It all depends on the stage and individual characteristics. Lung cancer patients may need palliative treatment to ease symptoms and increase quality of life.
It is important to understand cellular processes, genes and environment factors in order to diagnose and treat complex conditions such as non-small cells lung cancer. APRNs play an essential role in educating patients and guiding them through their treatment.