Description:
Cancer is a dangerous spectrum of different types of diseases, all of which include the body’s cells dividing uncontrollably and then further spreading to its surrounding. Cancer can start in any part of the body because cells are constantly dying and in response cells are constantly forming to replace the dying cells, but when the cells are mutated or abnormal they can continue replication when they are not supposed to and may form a growth or tumor. Malignant tumors can cause the cancer to spread to other parts of the body, while benign tumors don’t spread and usually can be removed without having the possibility of it coming back. Cancer is genetic, as in it arises from the genes in our cells, but it can also be induced from external factors like smoking, UV rays, and toxins (National Cancer Institute, 2015).

Chemotherapy refers to the treatment for cancer that patients can choose to do. It uses chemicals that are drugs/medications aimed to help kill the problem cells, in order to slow down or stop the spread of the disease (American Cancer Society, 2015). There are many different types of chemotherapies physicians can choose to use on patients, even different combinations depending on the type of cancer they are treating. It has proved to be an effective treatment of cancer, but it does come with risks and side effects that range from mild ones to very serious
and severe ones since it kills not only the bad cells, but also many good cells along with it (Mayo Clinic, 2015).

Applications:
Health information technology can do so much for cancer patients from the use of EHR’s to ensure that patient information is up to date and easily exchanged by all the clinicians treating the patient from surgeries and therapies, to allowing access to many more resources for social and emotional support for cancer patients. Most importantly, HIT can empower these sick cancer patients with the control of their care by allowing them to be more involved in it.

By allowing more patient involvement with treatment, it gives them a sense of control and possibly some hope. Personal health records would be vital to this and allow for patient adherence. They can track things like blood platelet counts, or schedule their next chemotherapy appointment. Patients with cancer have so many appointments from check-ups, blood work being done, scans to check on if the tumors are shrinking or growing, and then the actual chemotherapy sessions that PHR use and it's importance should be emphasized. PHRs would improve patient care immensely with cancer patients and allow for more healthcare decisions to be made by the patient, on their time. Maybe even from their mobile phone, tablet, or laptop (Clauser et. al, 2011). Scheduling, appointment times, lab results, communication with doctors, payment details, and insurance information are all things that could be accessed with the touch of a button.

Web resources:
http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/what-is-cancer
http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/chemotherapy/whatitishowithelps/chemo-what-it-is-questions-about-chemo

Related terminology: Leukemia, melanoma, lymphoma, oncology, polyps, tumors

Citations/references:
Chemotherapy. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2015, from http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/chemotherapy/chemotherapy-landing

Chemotherapy. (2015). Retrieved October 23, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/chemotherapy/basics/definition/prc-20023578

Clauser, S., Wagner, E., Bowles, E., Tuzzio, L., & Greene, S. (2011). Improving Modern Cancer Care Through Information Technology. Retrieved October 27, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3119205/

Colon Cancer Picture Image on MedicineNet.com. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2015, from http://www.medicinenet.com/image-collection/colon_cancer_picture/picture.htm (graphic #2)

Fasting Before Chemotherapy. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2015, from http://yaletownnaturopathic.com/fasting-before-chemotherapy/ (graphic #1)

Graphics:
(#1) From Yaletown Naturopathic Clinic
Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 10.59.33 PM.png












(#2) From Medicine Net
Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 10.58.29 PM.png