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
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
A thorough head to toe assessment is
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.
One the first symptoms that bring patients to
the doctor’s office is a persistent cough and
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.
Assess patient for any anorexia, nausea,
vomiting, fatigue, and recent unexplained
Ask the patient if they have had any fevers,
chills or night sweats.
Lung cancer with mediastianl involvement can
lead to cardiac complications, such as pleural
effusion , cardiac tamponade, and
It is important to assess the patient’s blood
pressure, jugular vein distention, and heart
It is vital for the nurse to assess the patient and
the family for anxiety.
Assess the patient’s support system and coping
Review with the patient their understanding of
not only the diagnosis of lung cancer but their
understanding of the procedures and treatment
There are several different tests the patient will
undergo and it is important that the patient be
aware of their plan of care.
Lewis, Sharon L. (2007). Medical-surgical
nursing: assessment and management of clinical
problems. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.