chapter  6
24 Pages

Cancers of the Respiratory and Renal Systems

Breathing is taken for granted, but as soon as something goes wrong with the respiratory system, breathing becomes a major emergency. This illustrates the essential nature of respiration on a minute by minute, and even a second by second basis. When a person cannot breathe properly they panic, followed sooner or later by collapse and loss of consciousness. One of the hardest challenges for nurses is in assisting patients who are fighting for their breath. Cancer of the respiratory system makes this challenge faced by nurses on the wards even harder, because there is no easy answer to the management of the acutely breathless patient caused by a tumour blocking the airway. Lung cancer is clearly a case of prevention being far better than the cure.