Cancer is a disease in which some of the body’s cells grow uncontrollably and spread to other parts of the body. It can start almost anywhere inside the body, caused by changes in the genes that control the way cells function, especially how they grow and divide.
Normally, body cells grow and multiply through the process called cell division to form new cells as the body needs them. When these cells grow old or become damaged, they die and new cells replace them. In cancer, abnormal cells grow and multiply instead of healthy cells. These cells may form tumors that may be cancerous (malignant) or benign. Cancerous tumors spread into nearby tissues and metastasize. Benign tumors do not spread to or invade nearby tissues, however, they are sometimes larger in size than malignant tumors.
There are more than a hundred types of cancer, which are usually named for the organs or tissues where the cancers form. Cancers can also be described by the type of cell that formed them. Some of the categories of common cancers for specific types of cells are as follows:
Carcinomas are the most common type of cancer. they are formed by epithelial cells, which cover the inside and outside surfaces of the body. Adenocarcinoma is a cancer that forms in epithelial cells that produce fluids and mucus. Basal cell carcinoma is cancer that forms in the lower or basal layer of the epidermis, a person’s outer layer of skin. Squamous cell carcinoma is cancer that forms in the squamous cells, which are epithelial cells that lie beneath the outer surface of the skin. Transitional cell carcinoma is cancer that forms in a type of epithelial tissue called transitional epithelium, or urothelium. This tissue is found in the linings of the bladder, ureters, part of the kidneys, and a few other organs.
Sarcomas are cancers that form in bones and soft tissues. Osteosarcoma is the most common cancer of the bone.
Cancers that form in the blood-forming tissue of the bone marrow are called leukemias. Large numbers of abnormal white blood cells build up in the blood and bone marrow, crowding out normal blood cells.
Lymphoma is cancer that forms in lymphocytes (T cells or B cells). Abnormal lymphocytes build up in lymph nodes and lymph vessels.
- Multiple myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a cancer that forms in plasma cells, another type of immune cell. The abnormal plasma cells, called myeloma cells, build up in the bone marrow and form tumors in bones all throughout the body.
Melanoma is a cancer that forms in cells that become melanocytes, which are specialized cells that form melanin. Most melanomas form on the skin, but melanomas can also form in other pigmented tissues, such as the eye.
- Brain and spinal cord tumors
These tumors are named based on the type of cell in which they formed in the central nervous system. An astrocytic tumor forms in star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes.
The management of cancer clients is individualized and complex, focusing on client assessment, client education, coordination of care, direct client care, symptom management, and supportive care. This set of Cancer NCLEX questions includes all types of cancer, their assessment, symptom management, therapeutic management, and collaboration with other healthcare services.
Each NCLEX question is categorized using Bloom’s Taxonomy and QSEN competencies. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a fundamental categorization method for testing which ensures suitable levels of cognitive understanding. It includes the categories Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, and Evaluating. Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) prepares future nurses to have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to improve the quality and safety of the healthcare systems.
Read and analyze each question carefully and chose the best answer/s from the choices provided. At the end of these practice tests, correct answers along with the explanation are given.
Oncology & Cancer NCLEX Practice Exam Questions
- The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with multiple myeloma (MM) Which potential complications does the nurse expects?
B. Renal dysfunction
C. Muscle spasm
D. Myocardial irritability
- The nurse is caring for a client receiving combination chemotherapy for metastatic carcinoma. Which potential side effect does the nurse anticipate?
D. Polycythemia vera
- The nurse is caring for a client newly diagnosed with gastric cancer. The client asks about the disease. Which statement by the nurse is correct?
A. “Chemotherapy and radiation are often successful treatments.”
B. “One of the late symptoms to manifest is stomach pain.”
C. “Only total parenteral nutrition may enhance the client’s nutrition.”
D. “Undergoing surgery can successfully eliminate cancer.”
- The nurse prepares a client diagnosed with a malignant tumor for colorectal surgery and subsequent colostomy. The client reports anxiety. Which action by the nurse is best?
A. Provide written materials about colostomy care.
B. Determine the client’s knowledge about colostomies.
C. Provide the client pictures of colostomies.
D. Arrange a visit from a client who also has a colostomy.
- The nurse is caring for a client with an NG tube on low continuous suction following partial gastrectomy for gastric adenocarcinoma. Which color of the gastric secretions does the nurse expect during the immediate postoperative period?
- The newly-hired nurse is caring for several clients undergoing a colorectal cancer screening program. Which client has the lowest risk factors for colorectal cancer?
A. A middle-aged male with a family history of colon cancer.
B. An older adult male with a low-fat, high-fiber diet.
C. An older adult female with a history of breast cancer.
D. A middle-aged female with a history of ulcerative colitis.
- The nurse monitors the laboratory results of a client diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Which value is a priority for monitoring?
A. Creatine phosphokinase (CPK)
B. Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)
C. Radioimmunoassay (RIA)
D. Serum glucose
- The nurse assesses a client diagnosed with liver cancer. Assessment findings include changes in mentation, restlessness, and irritability. The provider orders neomycin enemas. Which finding is a contraindication for the order?
A. Peripheral neuropathy
B. Myocardial infarction
C. Left nephrectomy
D. Glaucoma in both eyes
- The nurse is caring for a client being treated with a radioactive vaginal implant for vaginal cancer. The client’s husband asks if he could stay overnight. Which statement by the nurse is best?
A. “Your wife will rest better knowing you’re at home.”
B. “Staying overnight is against the hospital policy.”
C. “Visitation is limited to 30 minutes due to the implant.”
D. “We have enough staff to take care of your wife.”
- The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with leukemia and taking trimetrexate. The healthcare provider replaces it with leucovirin calcium. The client asks for the reason behind the change. Which response by the nurse is best?
A. “It increases the number of circulating neutrophils.”
B. “It reverses drug toxicity and prevents tissue damage.”
C. “It treats iron-deficiency anemia caused by chemotherapy.”
D. “It creates a synergistic effect to shorten treatment time.”
- The nurse administers chemotherapeutic agents through a central venous line for a client diagnosed with liver cancer. Which actions by the nurse are correct? Select all that apply.
A. Assess the insertion site for swelling, erythema, or drainage.
B. Reposition the client and encourage to cough if unable to aspirate blood.
C. Verify the placement with the provider if the status is questionable.
D. Aspirate the backflow of the blood to verify the patency of the line.
E. Administer the drug even if there is no backflow of blood.
- The nurse is caring for a client newly diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Which symptom is associated with the disease?
B. Night sweats
C. Lymph node pain
D. Weight gain
- The nurse educates a client diagnosed with colorectal cancer about its symptoms. Which symptom is the most common complaint of clients?
A. Change in bowel patterns
B. Abdominal pain
D. Change in stool characteristics
- The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma who is engaged to be married. Which nursing diagnosis is a priority for the client?
A. Grieving related to chronic illness
B. Impaired skin integrity related to prolonged bed rest
C. Sexual dysfunction related to radiation therapy
D. Fatigue related to chemotherapy
- The nurse is caring for a client who underwent hemicolectomy for colon cancer. The client is often visited by his children. Which concept about families does the nurse consider in planning care? Select all that apply.
A. Children in the family are not usually affected by adult illnesses.
B. An illness’ effects depend on the family’s stage of the life cycle.
C. Illness in one family member can affect all members.
D. A family member may perform more than one role at a time.
E. Family roles remain unchanged despite illness in a member.
F. Changes in sleeping and eating patterns may be signs of stress.
- The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with cervical dysplasia. The client asks for the meaning of dysplasia. Which response by the nurse is best?
A. Replacement of a fully differentiated cell by another in tissues where the second type normally isn’t found.
B. Presence of completely undifferentiated tumor cells that don’t resemble cells of their origin.
C. Alteration in the size, shape, and organization of differentiated cells.
D. Increase in the number of normal cells in a normal arrangement.
- The nurse assesses a client suspected of Hodgkin lymphoma. Which early symptom indicates stage 1 of the disease?
B. Persistent hypothermia
C. Night sweat
- The nurse assesses a client diagnosed with a brain tumor. Which assessment findings do the nurse anticipate? Select all that apply.
B. Increased pulse
C. Head tilt
F. Increased appetite
- The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with leukemia. Which assessment finding does the nurse strictly monitor?
A. Heart sounds
B. Breath sounds
C. Blood pressure
D. Bowel sounds
- The nurse provides discharge teaching to the parent of a client diagnosed with acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL). Which statement by the parent indicates effective teaching?
A. “I will contact the provider if my child is irritable and fatigued.”
B. “If my child experiences hair loss, I will call the healthcare provider.”
C. “I will call the healthcare provider if my child has difficulty sleeping.”
D. “If my child continues to vomit and has diarrhea, I will call the provider.”
- The nurse is caring for a terminally ill client undergoing grief. Which stages of death and dying are described by Elisabeth Kübler Ross? Select all that apply.
- The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with leukemia. The client states that it is very hard to deal with hair loss. Which response by the nurse is best?
A. “You should not worry about your hair; be glad you’re alive.”
B. “I know it’s upsetting, but you can patch up your feelings in time.”
C. “Hair loss is temporary. You may regrow your hair after 3-6 months.”
D. “Why not wear a hat? You look very nice in it.”
- The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with leukemia and receiving chemotherapy. Which protective isolation interventions do the nurse implement? Select all that apply.
A. Encourage a diet rich in fresh dairy products.
B. Perform strict hand hygiene before performing any procedure.
C. Restrict all visitors at all times and prohibit receiving packages.
D. Maintain sterile technique during changing of dressings.
E. Encourage the client to consume a low-bacteria diet.
F. Allow freshly-cut flowers in a vase inside the room.
- The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with a left-brain tumor who underwent supratentorial craniotomy. Which positions are appropriate for the client? Select all that apply.
A. With extreme head flexion
B. With the head in a midline position
C. With the neck flexed
D. Supine on the left side
E. On the left side
F. In a semi-Fowler’s position
- The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with leukemia. During the assessment, the nurse notes that the client has flat neck and hand veins. Which additional findings indicate hyponatremia? Select all that apply.
A. Poor skin turgor
B. Dry mucous membranes
C. Orthostatic hypotension
E. Slow bounding pulse
- The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with corticotropin-secreting pituitary adenoma. Which laboratory result does the nurse anticipate?
A. Low corticotropin and high cortisol levels
B. High corticotropin and high cortisol levels
C. Low corticotropin and low cortisol levels
D. High corticotropin and low cortisol levels
- The nurse administers a chemotherapeutic agent to a client. Upon assessment of the IV site, the nurse notes erythema and swelling. Which initial action by the nurse is best?
A. Immediately discontinue the infusion.
B. Notify the healthcare provider.
C. Alternate the application of cold and warm compress.
D. Flush the IV line with saline solution.
- The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with carcinoma of the lung who develops the syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (SIADH) as a complication. Which treatment options do the nurse anticipate? Select all that apply.
A. Decreased oral sodium intake
B. Increased fluid intake
E. Medication that is antagonistic to antidiuretic hormone (ADH)
F. Serum sodium blood levels
- The nurse is caring for a terminally ill client. The client’s daughter asks what she should say if her mother asks if she will die. Which responses by the nurse are correct? Select all that apply.
A. “Let’s talk about your mother’s illness and how it will progress.”
B. “You sound like you have some questions about your mother dying.”
C. “Tell your mother not to worry. She still has some time left.”
D. “Tell me how you’re feeling about your mother dying.”
E. “Don’t worry, hospice will take care of your mother.”
- The nurse is caring for a client diagnosed with a tumor of the posterior pituitary gland. In planning care, which interventions do the nurse include? Select all that apply.
A. Restrict fluids.
B. Monitor intake and output.
C. Weigh the client daily.
D. Measure urine-specific gravity.
E. Encourage intake of coffee or tea.