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Neurologic Complications of Cancer and Cancer Therapy

Alixis Van Horn
Cynthia Harrison
CJON 2013, 17(4), 418-424 DOI: 10.1188/13.CJON.418-424

When neurologic complications occur as a result of systemic cancer and cancer treatment, they can be more disabling for patients than their primary cancer and significantly impair functioning in varied domains. However, recognizing neurologic signs and symptoms as complications of cancer and its treatment can pose a challenge for healthcare providers. Oncology nurses must develop a high index of suspicion for neurologic complications when examining or interviewing patients who present with neurologic symptoms or deficits and have a known systemic cancer. The purpose of this article is to help oncology nurses identify the common presentations of those complications and understand the ways in which they occur, with the hope that early identification will facilitate appropriate medical intervention and slow the progression of neurologic deficits and systemic decline.

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