Hospice & Palliative Care

End Stage Disease Progression and Complications – Oncologic Disorders (Learning Hospice)

  • Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed and is the leading cause of death from cancer in women worldwide.
  • Lung cancer is the most frequently diagnosed and the leading cause of death from cancer in men worldwide.
  • Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States following heart disease.

Cancer refers to a group of diseases that are characterized by uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal of mutated cells that can be caused by external and internal factors. Mutated cells have certain characteristics as follows:

  • can avoid apoptosis (cell death)
  • resist normal aging process
  • can replicate outside normal controlling mechanisms
  • produce chemicals that dissolve surrounding tissue
  • invade other parts of the body
  • overcome the immune system
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Determining Prognosis: Patients with Malignant Diseases (Reading & Sharing)

Cancer refers to a group of diseases that are characterized by genetic mutations in normal cells that cause them to become malignant. These genetic mutations involve the following:

      • Oncogenes, which are mutant genes that regulate cell proliferation. Oncogenes allow accelerated proliferation of the mutated cells, resulting in the rapid growth of cancerous tumors. 
      • tumor suppressor genes, which impede cell proliferation and suppress or prevent cell mutations. Cancer involves inactivation of tumor suppressor genes, allowing replication of mutated cells. 

In the TNM system: Cancer patients who require hospice or palliative care generally suffer from advanced disease, which is defined as metastatic spread of the malignancy from the primary site to other areas of the body and/or massive tumor growth at the primary site. The staging of tumors commonly follows the primary tumor, lymph node, and metastasis (TNM) system. 

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