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Open Access Article

The Challenge of Existential Issues in Acute Care: Nursing Considerations for the Patient With a New Diagnosis of Lung Cancer

Rebecca H. Lehto
CJON 2012, 16(1), E4-E11 DOI: 10.1188/12.CJON.E1-E8

A new diagnosis of lung cancer is a highly threatening experience that raises personally relevant existential issues and brings death-related thoughts and concerns to mind. Those issues can be very disturbing to patients, leading to distress and potentially to a lowered quality of life. The purpose of this article is to present to the practicing oncology nurse the types of existential and death-related concerns that patients with a new diagnosis of lung cancer may have. In addition, the article identifies practical strategies and resources for oncology nurses who can help patients accept and manage the normal but often distressing responses to a life-threatening diagnosis.

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