Nursing PICOT Questions on Oncology

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 4
Words: 1125
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College

PICOT format is applicable to formulate questions that are evidence-based, researchable, and answerable. Well formulated PICOT questions lead to a clearer way of finding and evaluating evidence. PICOT is an acronym that stands for population or patient problem, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome, and Time. This mechanism is normally applied in the identification of the terms that are applicable when providing answers to burning clinical questions. As a nursing student specializing in the field of oncology, this method will be significant throughout my learning period, by providing effective and unbiased search strategies. As a practicing oncology nurse, I am eligible to attend to patients who are at a risk or who already have got cancer. Therefore, through the use of the PICOT strategy, I can provide the assessments that are necessary to communicate and administer appropriate treatment that will help in tailoring the needs of the patient.

Clinical Question on Oncology

In adult patients suffering from cancer, how effective is exercising as compared to antitumor antibiotics in controlling the state of the disease during the treatment and after the treatment?

Population or Patient Indicator or Intervention Control or compare Outcome Time
Adult patients How effective Comparison between antitumor antibiotics and exercising Controlling the state of the disease During treatment and after being discharged from the hospital.

The PICOT question is to be applied in the diagnosis of the effect of tailored exercise on adult patients within the United States. It is evidenced that a bigger number of adults in the US are prone to the conditions as compared to the younger population. In doing the diagnosis, the most effective action will be recommended to be used among this vulnerable population.

Reasons Why This is a Clinical Problem or an Opportunity for Improving Health Outcomes

Doing comprehensive research on the effect of exercise and antitumor antibiotics on adult patients living in the US is the appropriate step to answering the PICOT question. Therefore, to arrive at an effective answer, more research is to be done on the type of cancers that are prone among the population and whether exercising is more effective as compared to the antitumor. Various evidence-based research will play a significant source of reference to arrive at effective research.

Generally, age is recognized as one of the biggest risk factors leading to cancer, older individuals are more prone as compared to the youths. Projection of the incidence of cancer can play a significant part in helping the cancer control community to come up with effective strategies to reduce the growing number of cases. According to an article by Ganz, (2019), the research shows that in individuals aged 45 and above, 9 out of 10 are usually diagnosed with cancer. Even though these individuals may present with different types of cancer types, there is usually a certain category of cancer that is more prone. Some of the most types of cancer in adults aged below 50 years are breast cancer, melanoma, thyroid cancer, tumors occurring in the germ cells, lymphoma, and leukemia (Ganz, 2019). Adults aged 50 and over are prone to various melanoma and cancers of the prostate, lungs, breast, bladder, and colon. The oncological department and other cancer control communities should be aware of these situations and the precise category that are affected.

As a nurse practitioner, the PICOT question will indeed be able to guide several cancer patients on the effective means that are recommended in their situation. Exercising comes with a lot of benefits that no medicine or any other medical therapy can provide. Cancer patients who are constantly exercising have a significantly longer and better life (Cannioto et al., 2019). Exercising entails several activities aimed at creating self-empowerment that creates peace within one and renews hope for the future. Cancer patients are advised to continually exercise to mitigate the side effects of chemotherapy and improve their self-esteem (D’Ascenzi et al., 2021). Additionally, exercising can also lead to reducing the occurrence of chemo brain and enhancement of the immune system in the same pathways as the targeted therapy. According to research by Jia et al. (2021) aerobic exercise creates antitumor mechanisms. Aerobic exercise acts by suppressing tumors this is because of the creation of a hypoxic tumor microenvironment, the exercising state will also lead to autophagy of the cell accompanied by apoptosis. Thereafter the fit state of the body will lead to improved immunity the body, this will happen through the constant production of cytokines through their pathways.

When aerobic exercise is compared to taking antitumor antibiotics, the drugs do not offer a wide range of benefits. The antitumor antibiotics are considered to be more toxic as they may cause several side effects as compared to when one decides to be physically active. Antitumor drugs are leads to situations such as cardiac toxicity, a situation that may be more severe with prolonged intake of the drugs (Bhagat & Kleinerman, 2020). Additionally, severe heart problems may also result from the constant intake of drugs, this is different in the case of aerobic exercise. Therefore, even though the antitumor antibiotics are specific to the affected area, they pose side effects and are not effective as exercising.

An Article that Best Supports Nursing Interventions

An article by Jia et al. (2021) comprehensively supports the nursing intervention of adoption of aerobic exercise after and before the treatment. The authors have discussed the mechanism by which aerobic exercise leads to the reduced severe condition of cancer among adult patients (Jia et al., 2021). The article when compared to the four others, it provides a novel result that has been conducted on how exercising influences cytokines to act on various malignant tumors. The authors have also provided a standard tailored exercise program that is recommended for cancer patients. D’Ascenzi et al. (2021); Cannioto et al. (2019), have complemented research by Jia et al. (2021) on the importance of aerobic exercise and the number of adults prone to cancer. Additionally, the authors have also diagrammatically illustrated how hypoxic conditions of the tumors occur leading to growth inhibition in the tumors. The other article presents various importance that comes with aerobic exercise, helping patients suffering from various forms of cancers. This is as compared to only limited positive effects by antitumor antibiotics while several side effects that put more risk to the patients.

In conclusion, aerobic exercise and being physically active is the preferred positive way to help reduce the effects and limit the prevalence of, cancer among the adult population. Several negative effects result from the administration of the antitumor antibiotics, this tells the reason why exercising is preferred. The drugs do not lead to a general boost in the body’s immunity, instead, they result in cardiac toxicity when taken for a prolonged period.


Bhagat, A., & Kleinerman, E. S. (2020). Anthracycline-Induced Cardiotoxicity: Causes, Mechanisms, and Prevention. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 1257.

Cannioto, R. A., Dighe, S., Mahoney, M. C., Moysich, K. B., Sen, A., Hulme, K., McCann, S. E., & Ambrosone, C. B. (2019). Habitual Recreational Physical Activity is Associated with Significantly Improved Survival in Cancer Patients: Evidence from the Roswell Park Data Bank and Biorepository. Cancer Causes & Control: CCC, 30(1). h

D’Ascenzi, F., Anselmi, F., Fiorentini, C., Mannucci, R., Bonifazi, M., & Mondillo, S. (2021). The Benefits of Exercise in Cancer Patients and the Criteria for Exercise Prescription in Cardio-Oncology. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 28(7).

Ganz, P. A. (2019). Current US Cancer Statistics: Alarming Trends in Young Adults?. JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 111(12).

Jia, N., Zhou, Y., Dong, X., & Ding, M. (2021). The Antitumor Mechanisms of Aerobic Exercise: A Review of Recent Preclinical Studies. Cancer Medicine, 10(18.