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Health, Medicine, Nursing
Case Study
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Discussion postings from others about alternative methods for breast cancer (Case Study Sample)

There are three discussion postings, i need you to state whether you agree or disagree with what is mentioned in each posting and explain why you agree or why you disagree. Please number each response 1)While caring for a patient with breast cancer, she brings up the subject that she wants to try Chinese herbs vs. doing chemotherapy, radiation, or other traditional treatments. I would listen to the patient very closely and let her tell me her thoughts, fears, and expected outcomes of the treatment regime she has decided on. I would ask open ended questions in order to get her to thinking about the course of action she has chosen. I would be supportive of her beliefs and thoughts on the subject. I would discuss the risks and benefits of the traditional treatment i.e. chemotherapy, radiation, etc… I would get material on chemotherapy, and radiation as well as natural treatments for the patient to look over and compare the risks and benefits for herself. There are many types of natural treatments to treat breast cancer. They include herbal therapies, biological and pharmacological therapies, immune therapies, metabolic therapies, nutritional therapies, mind/body approaches and energy medicine. Most natural therapies focus on the actual cancer causes. Herbal remedies boost the immune system to be able to fight the pathogens and assist the body in healing properly. (Tramilton, 2013) I would also explain to the patient that whatever treatment option she chooses she needs to discuss it with thoroughly with her physician. There have not been any scientific studies or proof that herbal treatment cures breast cancer. Furthermore some alternative medicine may cause adverse reactions with standard treatments, or might cause the patient to delay getting treatments that have been proven effective. On the other hand some physicians recommend complementary and alternative medicine therapies in conjunction with chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. (Mayo Clinic, 2011) Overall the treatment regime that the patient chooses is her choice and as her assigned nurse I need to be supportive of her decision and offer her education on what to expect with the diagnosis of breast cancer. 2)First I would acknowledge the patient's interest in complementary treatments and allow her to share her feelings and viewpoints. Next, I would admit that I do not have any in depth knowledge of Chinese Herbal treatments, but have read that there are several things that can help during her treatment to relieve pain, and nausea and vomiting (American Cancer Society). Acupuncture and Tia Chi are recommended to help reduce pain (Cassileth, 2008) , and mint or ginger tea can help reduce nausea . I would advise the patient that modern cancer treatments are based on best practices, and have been proven to be successful, where as traditional Chinese treatments may not have been clinically tested, and therefore the long term success is unknown,. With that being said, a mixture of the two may provide the intervention that you need. The complementary treatments may provide both physical and mental relief. There are many institutions doing research to prove or disprove effectiveness of herbs and alternative treatments such as Sloan Kettering Institute. They have found that some work well and some do not. We should include your interest in these methods in your treatment plan and discuss them with your treatment team. If you decide to take herbal remedies they included in your medical record, as they might cause interactions with the other medications you may be taking. Wrapping up the conversation, ask if she has any other questions or concerns. Also, let her know that it is important for her to feel like she is in control of her treatments. This sense of control may help the patient with the mental battle of the cancer treatment and allow her to have a more successful outcome. 3)I could appreciate a patient who was diagnosed with breast cancer to think about other options of treatment. I have often thought about what I would do if I were in those shoes. I would discuss with her Chinese herbal medicine vs. western medicine such as: chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. According to the American Cancer Society, Chinese herbal medicine is a holistic practice that does not claim to cure cancer but help prevent and aide in the treatment of cancer (Chinese Herbal Medicine, 2011). It is promoted as a treatment to be used in conjunction with western oncology medicine. The herbs are used to bring the body back into balance and help ease side effects of chemotherapy and radiation such as: "control pain, improve quality of life, strengthen the immune system and in some cases, stop tumor growth and spread." (Chinese Herbal Medicine, 2011). Since breast cancer is thought to be hormone influenced, Chinese herbal blends are used to bring a balance to hormones. The loss of hair, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, weight loss and many other signs and symptoms are complications related to chemotherapy and radiation but, there are side effects to Chinese herbs also. There are over 5,000 different herbs in China in which some are toxic if ingested and have been known to cause severe kidney & liver damage and in some cases, death. (Chinese Herbal Medicine, 2011). It is important to know that during the manufacturing of the herbs that mistakes have been made and have had deadly results. If considering to use Chinese herbs as a source of treatment for breast cancer you should see a licensed board certified Chinese herbalist practitioner to assure your safety. In conclusion, it is not recommended by the American Cancer Society to use Chinese herbs alone for the treatment of breast cancer. Discuss sources of treatment with your doctor so a plan can be determined. source..
1 I agree with the reasoning in the first posting about allowing the patient to choose their preferable choice of treatment. However, it is very important to thoroughly advice the patients on the best option s the y have so that when they finally make a choice of what they want, they are fully aware of what their choices imply and tyhey are ready to face the repercussions of their decisions. In most cases, the patients do not know what is the best for them, they depend on the doctors for diagnosis, advice and councelling- and in very critical cases, for decision making. (Tramilton, 2013)
It is the same as when an expectant woman is experiencing a birthcomplication and she has been faced with the dilemma of choosing between saving her life and her unborn child. The gynecologist has the responsibility of letting the woman make the choicebut; his profession compels him to give her all the possible options and advice. The decision making in such trivial matters however solely remains with the patient( Mayo clinic, 2010).
2)I do not agree wiith this response a t all because of several reasons. First of all, it is very import to note that it is professionally wrong to mix two types of treatment methods; especially when one is a scientifically tested and proven method of treatment with well outlined outcomes while the other is a traditional...
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