Breast Cancer

Posted on March 1st, by Megan in Uncategorized. No Comments

The most common risk factors for cancer of the breast are family history of breast cancer, age over 50, and nulliparity. When assessing for a mass, signature signs to look for include fixed, painless nodes usually in the upper outer quadrant or near the axilla. Now while all of these facts are great to know about breast cancer, I have found that most NCLEX type questions are derived from the post operative procedures. SO, let me share some tips with you!

Post OP Must Know’s

  1. Position patient in semi fowlers on unaffected side.
  2. Elevate the affected arm above the level of the heart to promote drainage and prevent lymphedema
  3. No IV’s, injections BP measurements on affected side
  4. No carrying heavy items in affected arm (Books, laptop, purse)

Following a mastectomy another biggie NCLEX likes you to assess is the patient’s attitude and self esteem. How they are feeling about their image and how they think their husband will view them is usually what is needing to be assessed.

Example Question

A nurse is caring for a patient admitted to the unit following a right modified radical mastectomy. Which nursing intervention should the nurse include in the plan of care?

  1. Assessing blood pressure every two hours on the right arm
  2. Placing cool compresses on the affected arm
  3. Maintaining an intravenous site below the antecubital area on the affected side
  4. Elevating the affected arm on a pillow above the heart



Answer: 4. Elevating the arm will decrease lymphedema. Cool compresses are not recommended.

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