Date of Defense




First Advisor

Charlene Brown

Second Advisor

Kelsey Harper


The American Cancer Society estimates that 1,334,100 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2003 and that 17 million new cancer cases have been diagnosed since 1990. They have also determined that in the U.S., men have a slightly less than 1 in 2 lifetime risk of developing cancer and women have a 1 in 3 chance of being diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. These statistics show that cancer will touch the life of at least one person you know; unfortunately that person may be someone very close to you. It's extremely difficult to watch someone you love endure so much pain and suffering because of a disease. My father was first diagnosed with cancer six years ago and I have watched him struggle with the disease as well as the treatments associated with it. One of the most difficult experiences for me was watching him suffer with pain. It seemed like he was never comfortable, especially after surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. The pain relievers his physicians gave him were not effective in managing his pain. His quality of life declined dramatically because it hurt too much to do normal activities. Other family members were also affected because it was difficult to watch my dad suffer and be frustrated by his condition. The pain altered his personality causing him to be very short tempered and anxious about everything, which was out of character for my dad. If his pain had been managed more effectively, the whole treatment process would have been greatly improved, thus positively affecting his quality of life. He would have been able to complete routine activities without pain and may have been more receptive and responsive to treatments without the complications of pain. My father was the inspiration for my thesis research and his experiences directed me toward an examination of the pain associated with cancer and how it could be better managed.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Nursing Commons