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What is Colorectal Cancer?

Posted on November 4, 2014 | No Comments on What is Colorectal Cancer?

  • Risk factors for colorectal cancer include age 50 or older, history of polyps, family history of polyp and/or colorectal  cancer, a history of ulcerative colitis, and diet high in fat and low in fiber.
  • Recommended routine screening for early detection include fecal occult blood testing and colonoscopy depending on personal and family history.
  • CBC may show anemia if the cancer is bleeding. A CEA may be effective in detecting recurrent cancer but is not a valid screening test.
Assessment
  • Subjective data – clients may describe a change in bowel habits and possible abdominal pain
  • Objective data – stools may be gualac positive for blood.  An Hgb and Hct may show anemia.
Management:
  • Surgical – treatment is surgical to remove the cancer.  For Class A tumors, a colonoscopy is performed with a polypectomy, the removal of the polyp.  For class B or C tumors, a colon resection is done.
  • Pharmacological – chemotherapy is given following the surgery.  Side effects of chemotherapy include nausea, vomiting, weight loss, hair loss, fatigue, and dry skin  Immunotherapy as an aduct therapy for class C and D tumors may be ordered to boost the immune system.
  • Diet – post operatively, the client will be NPO and an NG tube will be in place until bowel sounds return.  The client is then started on the clear liquid diet, progressing to a high-fiber, low-fat diet.
  • Activity – the client is ambulated the next day and activity is progressed
  • Nursing management – encourage all clients to have recommended routine screenings, fecal occult blood test, and colonoscopy, based on their personal and family history.  Postoperatively, maintain the Ng tube.  Assess bowel sounds..  Encourage turning, coughing deep breathing, use of incentive spirometer, leg exercise, and ambulation.

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