NCLEX : Identifying Types of Tumor

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for NCLEX

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Identifying Types Of Tumor

What is the most common type of thyroid cancer?

Possible Answers:

Anaplastic carcinoma

Papillary carcinoma

Medullary carcinoma

Follicular carcinoma

Correct answer:

Papillary carcinoma

Explanation:

Papillary carcinoma is the most common thyroid cancer (60-70% of all thyroid cancers). Follicular carcinoma is the second most common thyroid cancer type (10-20% of cases), followed by medullary thyroid cancer (5%), then anaplastic carcinoma (under 5% of cases).

Example Question #2 : Identifying Types Of Tumor

Which thyroid cancer will present with a proliferation of parafollicular cells (c cells) that produce excess calcitonin?

Possible Answers:

Medullary carcinoma

Follicular carcinoma

Papillary carcinoma

Anaplastic carcinoma

Correct answer:

Medullary carcinoma

Explanation:

Medullary carcinoma of the thyroid originates from the parafollicular cells (c cells). Elevated levels of calcitonin in these patients cause diarrhea, which is the most common clinical symptom. Papillary carcinoma, follicular carcinoma, and anaplastic carcinoma are not associated with any significant elevation in calcitonin levels.

Example Question #3 : Identifying Types Of Tumor

What cancer presents with the following triad: hematuria, flank pain, and an abdominal mass?

Possible Answers:

Mesothelioma

Ewing's sarcoma

Renal cell carcinoma

Hodgkin's lymphoma

Correct answer:

Renal cell carcinoma

Explanation:

Hematuria, flank pain, and an abdominal mass are all signs of renal cell carcinoma, an adenocarcinoma originating in the proximal proximal tubule of the kidney. 

Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer associated with asbestos exposure, Ewing's sarcoma is a type of bone cancer common in children and adolescents, and Hodgkin's lymphoma is a cancer that originates in the lymphocytes of the blood.

Example Question #3 : Identifying Types Of Tumor

What is the most common type of liver cancer?

Possible Answers:

Hepatocellular carcinoma

Teratoma

Hepatoblastoma

Cholangiocarcinoma

Correct answer:

Hepatocellular carcinoma

Explanation:

Hepatocellular carcinoma accounts for approximately 75% of all primary liver cancers.

Cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma are rare forms of liver cancer, and a teratoma is a tumor that contains normal-appearing tissues from multiple germ layers, which can appear in multiple locations in the body. 

Example Question #4 : Identifying Types Of Tumor

All of the following cancers frequently metastasize to bone except __________.

Possible Answers:

prostate cancer

lung cancer

stomach cancer

breast cancer

Correct answer:

stomach cancer

Explanation:

Breast, lung, kidney, and prostate cancers make up approximately 80% of metastases to bone. Stomach cancer can metastasize to bone, but it does so only rarely. 

Example Question #5 : Identifying Types Of Tumor

The appearance of red, purple, brown, or black papular lesions on the extremities, back, face, mouth, and genitalia is a typical presentation for what malignancy?

Possible Answers:

Pancreatic cancer

Burkitt lymphoma

Melanoma

Kaposi sarcoma

Correct answer:

Kaposi sarcoma

Explanation:

Kaposi sarcoma presents with red, purple, brown, or black papular lesions on the extremities, back, face, mouth, and genitalia. It is caused by human herpes virus 8 (HHV8) and is typically seen in immunocompromised patients.

Neither Burkitt lymphoma nor pancreatic cancer typically present with any associated skin lesions, while melanomas tend to be singular lesions.

Example Question #6 : Identifying Types Of Tumor

What type of cancer generally presents with elevated calcium, renal failure, anemia, and lytic bone lesions?

Possible Answers:

Gastric cancer

Ovarian cancer

Multiple myeloma

Osteosarcoma

Correct answer:

Multiple myeloma

Explanation:

Multiple myeloma, also known as plasma cell myeloma or Kahler's disease, presents with lytic bone lesions, blood count abnormalities, elevated blood calcium, and an abnormal paraprotein antibodies which can cause damage to kidneys.

Osteosarcoma, while located in the bone, tends to present with a mass visible on imaging. Gastric and ovarian cancer are not associated with any changes in bone (unless due to metastasis). 

Example Question #7 : Identifying Types Of Tumor

What is the most common malignant brain tumor in children?

Possible Answers:

Medulloblastoma

Glioblastoma

Meningioma

Juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma 

Correct answer:

Medulloblastoma

Explanation:

90% of medulloblastomas are in pediatric patients. It is the tumor type in 14.5% of primary brain malignancies of childhood and adolescence. Glioblastoma is the most common type of brain tumor in adults and accounts for 52% of all primary brain tumors. Meningiomas are also fairly common in adult populations, accounting for 34% of primary brain tumors. Juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma is a brain tumor of childhood but only accounts for 2% of cases.

Example Question #8 : Identifying Types Of Tumor

Actinic keratosis occasionally develops into which skin cancer? 

Possible Answers:

Melanoma

Merkel cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma

Correct answer:

Squamous cell carcinoma

Explanation:

Actinic keratosis occasionally develops into squamous cell carcinoma and is generally removed prophylactically. Actinic keratosis is not associated with development of any of the other skin cancer types listed.

Example Question #10 : Identifying Types Of Tumor

Which of the following types of lung cancer is most linked to cigarette smoking?

Possible Answers:

Adenocarcinoma

Mesothelioma

Small cell carcinoma

Bronchial carcinoids

Correct answer:

Small cell carcinoma

Explanation:

Small cell carcinoma (also called oat cell cancer) makes up 15% of lung cancers and almost always presents in patients with a history of cigarette smoking. 

Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer in patients who have never smoked. Mesothelioma is most commonly caused by asbestos exposure, while bronchial carcinoids are often of unknown etiology.

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