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  • 1. Kristine Anaya
  • 2.  It is important to review patient’s past exposure to carcinogens, such as asbestos, as well as any history of tobacco use.  Ask if the patient has any chronic lung diseases, such as tuberculosis or COPD.  A family medical history should also be obtained to assess for any history of cancers or respiratory problems.
  • 3.  Review any medications the patient is currently taking, including OTC medications and herbal supplements.  It is especially important to note any respiratory medications the patient may be taking, as well as the patient’s response to these medications.
  • 4.  A thorough head to toe assessment is important.  Manifestations of lung cancer usually appear late in the disease process.  Manifestations of the disease can help determine the type of lung cancer as well as any metastatic spread.
  • 5.  One the first symptoms that bring patients to the doctor’s office is a persistent cough and chest pain.  It is important to assess if cough is productive or non productive, if there is any blood tinged sputum present, or any pain in chest.  Ask patient how long cough has been present as well as any treatments they have done for cough and response to treatment.
  • 6.  Assess patient for any anorexia, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and recent unexplained weight loss.  Ask the patient if they have had any fevers, chills or night sweats.
  • 7.  Lung cancer with mediastianl involvement can lead to cardiac complications, such as pleural effusion , cardiac tamponade, and dysrhythmias. It is important to assess the patient’s blood pressure, jugular vein distention, and heart sounds.
  • 8.  It is vital for the nurse to assess the patient and the family for anxiety.  Assess the patient’s support system and coping skills.
  • 9.  Review with the patient their understanding of not only the diagnosis of lung cancer but their understanding of the procedures and treatment options.  There are several different tests the patient will undergo and it is important that the patient be aware of their plan of care.
  • 10.  Lewis, Sharon L. (2007). Medical-surgical nursing: assessment and management of clinical problems. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.