TSTC Vocational Nursing student Sonia Rios provides supplemental oxygen to a medical manikin while listening to lung sounds during a recent lab session.

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – The thought of a loved one, a friend or any person being diagnosed with cancer — especially lung cancer — is a serious concern.

The Vocational Nursing program at Texas State Technical College emphasizes the importance of lung cancer awareness — especially on World Lung Cancer Day on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Lung cancer forms in the tissues of the lung and also is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women.

Symptoms can include chest pain, cough, trouble breathing, wheezing, and blood in sputum.

Robert Morman, a TSTC Vocational Nursing instructor in Harlingen, said the disease’s severity determines the course of its treatment.

“If a patient is terminal, the priority is comfort and support as the patient transitions out of life. On the opposite side, a patient with a good prognosis is potentially looking at extensive chemotherapy and radiation.”

Recently a member of the Nursing program’s faculty experienced a disheartening situation as a result of the disease.

Rosa Gonzales, a Nursing program lab assistant, lost her husband to lung cancer. She said her objective is to raise awareness of the disease with students through her role in the program.

“I provide the students with the equipment that’s needed for their hands-on training,” she said. “One type of equipment they use is an endotracheal tube. It’s intended to improve a patient’s breathing.”

Morman teaches his students that a cancer diagnosis can also affect a patient’s family.

“I remind the students they are dealing with someone who is potentially facing the most difficult event in their life,” he said. “Additionally, the patient’s family and loved ones are also facing this situation. While it may affect them differently, it still has a lasting impact on their lives.”

The American Cancer Society provides valuable information about lung cancer at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/lung-cancer/about/what-is.html.

According to the World Health Organization, more people die from lung cancer than from colon, breast and liver cancers combined.

World Lung Cancer Day is observed on Aug. 1 each year to raise awareness about lung cancer while encouraging people to screen themselves for the disease.

TSTC offers a Vocational Nursing certificate of completion at its Breckenridge, Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses. An Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing is offered at its Harlingen and Sweetwater campuses.

For more information about the Vocational Nursing program, visit www.tstc.edu/programs/nursing/.

For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.

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