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Basic Principles of Cancer Chemotherapy – NCLEX Review (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes

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    00:00 So let's start with chemotherapy.

    00:03 Now, before we even get reeling into that, we could just look at a list of all the side effects but I wanna give you a little introduction to what cancer is.

    00:11 Now, cancer is an unregulated cellular proliferation.

    00:14 Hey, can you feel it? Yeah, the pace is gonna pick up now and that's okay because I know that you've been introduced to a lot of these concepts and our concept here is for it to be a review.

    00:26 So if you're feeling like things are gonna start moving faster, you're right with us. Good job.

    00:31 So cancer is unregulated cellular proliferation and what makes cancer cancer is it doesn't follow the rules.

    00:37 You've got unrestrained growth, it doesn't follow the feedback or follow the rules, it's invasive, that's another key characteristic of cancer, and it can metastasize.

    00:47 That means one form of cancer can break away and travel through the body and form cancer in other areas.

    00:53 Now how do we deal with this? Well, we've got surgery, we can do radiation, we can try and zap it out, or we can look at drugs.

    01:00 Now, since this is a pharmacology review, we're gonna focus mostly on the drugs.

    01:05 I want you to put a circle around cytotoxic agents.

    01:09 That's where we're gonna focus. Now, there's a couple other groups.

    01:12 There's hormones that can be used in treating cancer and there's biologic response modifiers.

    01:19 In my opinion, what you'll see most on the NCLEX will be the cytotoxic agents.

    01:25 Now, that means cell killers so this is where I'm gonna focus our energy today.

    01:30 Now, chemotherapy drugs are more toxic to cells or tissue with a high growth fraction.

    01:39 Got it? This is a pivotal point.

    01:41 So you notice we slow down here because I want you to understand how cytotoxic drugs work.

    01:47 They're more toxic, they go after cells with a high growth fraction.

    01:52 Why? Because cancer cells have a high growth fraction. So write that in.

    01:58 Cancer cells, high growth fraction.

    02:00 But you have other cells in your body that also have high growth fraction.

    02:06 Now, I'm gonna do something with you right now that you're gonna think is kinda weird.

    02:10 I'm so okay with that because as a long time educator, I don't care what I have to do to help you be more successful.

    02:18 If I look weird, don't care. Because if it sticks in your mind, that's what matters to me.

    02:24 So if you're brave enough, stand up, push back from your chair, and I wanna go through this because I want you to be aware of what the cells and tissues are with a high growth fraction in your body.

    02:37 Okay, so, yep, this is gonna be uncomfortable but know that when you're uncomfortable, you actually learn more.

    02:44 Alright, so you're with me? Hair, GI, skin.

    02:49 Yeah, you know I'm serious.

    02:51 Like, stand up and I want you to actually point the things just like you see me doing.

    02:56 So hair, say it with me, GI, skin. Okay, we do it again. Hair, GI, skin.

    03:05 Let's add more. Reproductive and bone marrow.

    03:09 Alright. Hair, GI, skin, reproductive, and bone marrow. Got it? Faster. Hair, GI, skin, reproductive, bone marrow. Hair, GI, skin, reproductive, bone marrow.

    03:25 I have not lost my mind but what I want you to do, if you're just sitting at the screen looking at me like I cannot believe this, it's okay but remember, engaged learners retain better.

    03:37 So stick with us, I'll explain the method as we go on.

    03:41 So I want you to try and do this backwards. Whoa, okay, what would that be? So that would be bone, reproductive, skin, GI, brain.

    03:54 Okay, you make sure that you can do that.

    03:57 Yep, try it on your own. Okay, cool.

    04:01 Pause the video for just a minute and go through that multiple times.

    04:05 So I want you to try that 2, 3, 4 times so you can do it without thinking and then I want you to start somewhere in the middle with skin, the reproductive, and go up and down to make sure you have those list of 5 items solids.

    04:19 Ready? Pause the video, be brave, feel weird, but you're gonna do better when we get to this part.

    04:30 Okay, welcome back. Now, here's what you did.

    04:35 Here's the research that we applied, reproductive, in sounding this out.

    04:39 Because your brain will remember things when you do things different.

    04:43 That's why I used that voice. Reproductive.

    04:46 Cuz we're all uncomfortable when we talk about that anyway but I want it to stick out in your mind. I used movement.

    04:53 That will help stimulate and focus your brain. So hair, GI, right? Skin, reproductive, and bone marrow.

    05:00 I asked you to do the movements with me and I asked you to stand up.

    05:04 If you're studying in exactly the same place every time, exactly the same way, your brain's getting kinda bored or kinda stuck in a rut so when you find yourself getting stuck, stand up, move around, go to another location, shake things up a bit.

    05:19 That's a great way to help your memory.

    05:21 When you wanna use a weird voice, that's something that makes it unusual, it will stick in your mind. Remember, I also asked you to change the order.

    05:28 Go from top to bottom, go from bottom to top, start in the middle, go all the way around.

    05:34 That's a way, a simple strategy, when you have lists of things to remember that you can teach your brain to look at it from different perspectives.

    05:42 That's why if an exam question comes at you from a different perspective, you're so ready because you've already practiced doing that.

    05:50 That's a way to more efficiently encode.

    05:52 Shorter period of time but much more effective ability to recall important information.

    05:59 See, if I would've just given you this list, yeah, those are great pictures and it's really cool when you're looking at it but it won't stick in your mind.

    06:08 You have to engage or working memory, right? To get it from your short term memory, you gotta engage the information to get it into your long term memory so you don't take a test and go, I remember something about that.

    06:23 So that's what we're doing. And like I told you, it doesn't matter how I look even though it's on video.

    06:27 I don't care because I'll do whatever it takes to help you remember things more efficiently and be more successful on your examples because my goal is for you to be an excellent nurse.

    06:39 So we know that anyone on cytotoxic drugs is gonna have issues in those 5 areas.

    06:44 Now we can deliver chemotherapy in different ways. We can do intermittent.

    06:48 So you know that it's hard on bone marrow.

    06:51 We give intermittent chemotherapy where we give you a big dose, they feel terrible, we let them recover, right? We'll let them kind of just get back to feeling normal and then we'll hit them with another dose.

    07:03 That's intermittent chemotherapy.

    07:05 We have combination chemotherapy where we give more than one chemotherapy and we also got regional drug delivery.

    07:12 That means that we can get it specifically to the place that we need it.

    07:16 And I've listed 3 examples for you there. That is super cool stuff when we can do it.

    07:21 Okay, here's your chance. Get engaged.

    07:25 You're gonna supercharge your memory so we're gonna study as you go together.

    07:29 So recall, without looking at your notes, here's your question.

    07:32 What tissue does chemotherapy target? Look at that blank.

    07:38 Fill in those 2 blanks and then I want you to fill the 5 -- hey, stop looking at your notes.

    07:43 I don't care how good you are at writing things down.

    07:46 Try and test your brain, see what you can remember.

    07:49 Pause the video, fill it in, and then join us again.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Basic Principles of Cancer Chemotherapy – NCLEX Review (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes is from the course NCLEX Pharmacology Review (Nursing).


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Invasive growth
    2. Formation of metastases
    3. Unresponsiveness to feedback mechanisms
    4. Restricted growth
    5. Formation of anastomoses
    1. An unregulated cellular proliferation
    2. A regulated cellular proliferation
    3. An unregulated cellular destruction
    4. A regulated cellular destruction
    1. Hair
    2. Reproductive
    3. Bone marrow
    4. Gastrointestinal
    5. Cardiac
    1. High growth fraction
    2. Low growth fraction
    3. High growth variability
    4. Low growth variability

    Author of lecture Basic Principles of Cancer Chemotherapy – NCLEX Review (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes

    Rhonda Lawes


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