Case Study – Bowel Cancer

The bowel is a long tube that is made up of the small bowel, colon and rectum. The bowel absorbs nutrients from food and also processes waste products into faeces to be removed from the body. Bowel Cancer is cancer of the rectum or colon. Bowel cancer develops from small raised growths called polyps which are found in the inner lining of the bowel. These polyps can either be non cancerous and harmless (benign) or they can be cancerous (malignant).

All polyps should be removed to reduce the risk of these polyps becoming cancerous or spreading the disease further. Most polyps can be removed without surgery with a procedure called a colonoscopy. If these polyps are not removed, they can grow deeper into the bowel and spread into areas close to the area and later can spread to the liver or lungs. Causes Bowel cancer can be hereditary passed down from a before generation but mainly age and lifestyle factors also contribute to the development of bowel cancer.

According to the Better Health Channel (BHC)(2011), There is some evidence that having a diet that consists of red meat and drinking alcohol can lead to the cause of bowel cancer. Bowel cancer is more common in people aged 50 years or older. In relation to “Lou” who is 75, eats red meat from the cattle from his farm and also drinks alcohol, his risk factors for bowel cancer was high. This inability to pass bowel movements showed that he had a very high chance of having bowel cancer. Symptoms * Blood or mucus in the faeces.

* Weakness and paleness * Diarrhoea * Constipation * Finding your faeces are narrower than usual * Feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely Prevalence rates According to Bowel Cancer Australia (BCA)(2010), Bowel cancer is the responsible for the second biggest cancer related deaths after lung cancer with 14,234 people being diagnosed with bowel cancer each year and 4047 deaths occurring due to bowel cancer. The older you become the greater the risk of developing bowel cancer becomes with Cancer Council Australia.

(CCA)(2011), quoting that 1 in 12 Australians develop bowel cancer before the age of 85. Bowel cancer is the most curable cancer and if detected and removed early, the cure rate is 90%, however in most cases; bowel cancer is detected in its later stage and therefore has a 60% cure rate. Table: Age vs Number of cases. Obtained from Australian Institute of Health and Wellfare (2006). Socio-Ecological Model Socio-Ecological Model (SEM) is a framework that recognises the relationship that is present between an individual and its surrounding environment.

This model looks at not only at an individual reducing risk and improving health but also looks at the outer environment. These include the public policy, the community, organisations, interpersonal and the individual themselves. People who are diagnosed with bowel cancer can suffer from psychological problems due to the trauma of going through the procedures when diagnosing the cancer (such as colonoscopy) or from during the procedure where the doctor has to perform surgery on the patient.

Mainly psychological affects will come from the fear of death and can lead them to withdraw themselves from friends and family leading to the sufferer not being socially active and not having that connection that is needed to get through the mental trauma that can be associated when dealing with bowel cancer. In this case the SEM can be implemented as for a patient that is suffering from psychological problems as they would need good interpersonal relationships (friends and family) and organisational involvement (social institutions) to be there to help the patient deal with their illness as best as possible.

As in the case of “Lou” from the case study, he is moving 50 km away from his home, friends and family and therefore could lead him to feel that he can’t connect with anyone and lead to emotional and social consequences which include depression. Social Services and Programs There are many support groups and services that are available to help a cancer patient when needed. If these are utilised, it can be beneficial in dealing with the emotional and social impacts that come with the disease.

These include: * Homecare: This I when a social worker or nurse provides a cancer patient with their basic needs e. g. running errands, preparing meals, medication delivery and can have regular visits from physical therapists. This is a good asset as patients often feel more comfortable in their own home where they can be close to friends and family. This puts a great demand on other people like social workers, nurses and physical therapists to play a major role for home care to be achieved. This is also applied from the (SEM).

* Social workers: Can either be seen at home from home care or cancer patients can go see social workers. Social workers can offer counselling, counselling for the future, access to support groups and referrals to specialists. This Is good as it can help a cancer patient during and after they have cancer. * Cancer rehabilitation programs: The Cancer Nutrition Rehabilitation Program gives cancer patients information about diet, physical activity, treatment and other needs to successfully become rehabilitated.

The social worker helps the patient obtain the needs necessary and give them general direction on how to become and maintain a healthy state after cancer. Conclusion Bowel cancer can be successfully treated and cured if early detection is made. This early detection will heighten the chances of survival then if it is found at a later stage. Regular checkups for people over 50 years of age are necessary to ensure that this early detection occurs. While an individual is responsible to obtain a healthy lifestyle, other factors need to be taken into account as outlined from the SEM.

If individuals and the surrounding environment are linked together as one then becoming and staying healthy can be achieved.

Reference List. 1. Polglase A (2010) Let’s beat bowel cancer. Australian Pharmacist. Vol 29, issue 5, 414-416. Available from, http://ea3se7mz8x. search. serialssolutions. com/? ctx_ver=Z39. 88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon. serialssolutions. com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft. genre=article&rft. atitle=Let%27s+Beat+Bowel+Cancer&rft. jtitle=Australian+Pharmacist&rft. au=Pol View as multi-pages.

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