Pharmacology for Medical Assisting

By Support

HSC 142 Pharmacology for Medical Assisting Research Project 50pts

During this semester, we will be learning about pharmacology practices and drug actions related to body systems, side effects, and adverse reactions. This research project will help you to identify body systems and organs that are at risk for specific types of disease as well as possible side effects of medications. You will be able to differentiate between chronic and acute disease processes. For your research project, you will design a paper following the attached guidelines.

  1. Identify the body system for your research (worth 5 pts)
    • Provide a summary of the system including organs, function and/or process that is
  2. Identify a common disease process that effects this particular body
    • Determine if the disease is more likely chronic or acute in (worth 2 pts)
  • Describe the disease process (include symptoms and complications of) (worth 3 pts)
  • Explain how this disease is diagnosed and what is the most common treatment option (worth 2 pts)
  1. Identify 3 classifications of medications that are used in the treatment / management of the disease (worth 2 pts each)
    • For each classification of medication describe: (each classification worth 6 pts)
      • Action of the medication
      • Side effects of the medication
      • Any potential complications or interactions of the medication

(Abbreviated example:


  • exert prompt anti-inflammatory actions throughout the body, including the intestines
  • long term side effects: rounding of the face (moon face), acne, increased body hair, diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure, cataracts, increased susceptibility to infections, muscle weakness, mood swings, and personality changes,
  • long-term use of corticosteroids can cause osteoporosis)
  1. Who is afflicted? Provide a summary of the incidence and prevalence statistics of the disease in the given What are the morbidity and mortality rates of the disease? (worth 6 pts)
  2. Research papers must be typed and double spaced, 12 pt font, APA Include a title page with your name and body system and a reference page with a minimum of 5 credible references. The length of the paper should be between 3-4 pages, not including title and reference page. (worth 8pts)

Do not copy and paste.  Automatic “0” for any form of academic dishonesty.

TIP: Go to the Purdue OWL online for an APA template. The Penn Highlands library site has multiple resources as well.

Resources that you can use:


The Endocrine System

The endocrine system is entails the network of glands that secrete hormones that regulate human body functions. According to Sargis, (n.d.), the endocrine system is a system containing glands such as the Thyroid gland, Hypothalamus, Pituitary glands, Adrenal gland and Thymus gland among others which secretes hormones that aid in the body metabolism and the balance of the body. The main function is the endocrine system is to aid in the growth and development, the reproduction process, homeostasis and general response to the stimuli, which could be either be stress, injuries or any form reactions that affect the body. The endocrine system is embedded in the body and serves a crucial role; nevertheless, there are challenging diseases that are associated with this system that can be fatal sometimes to the system and the person affected.

The Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer is one of the major problems affecting individuals and the greatest endocrine system disease that can demand a lot from the patients and the caregivers, from the time resources to the costs of the treatment. This condition is considered chronic, because, it does not get treated within a short time. Additionally, when it is diagnosed in the latest stages, it becomes totally difficult to treat and the patients can only be provided with an estimated amount of days they can live by the physician, depending on the severity of the condition.

The symptoms associated with Thyroid cancer are mostly not recognizable and the disease in most cases can present itself without any trace of symptoms. On the contrary, if the symptoms do appear, the general symptoms are the availability of the lump in the neck of the affected person (Clayman, n.d.). The thyroid cancer does not exhibit pain symptoms, and this can be a major problem that hinders early detection. Early detection may prevent unwanted cases of resistance to the treatment programs available for the disease.

Thyroid cancer condition is diagnosed by the process of sticking a needle in the thyroid nodule, or just simply the removal of the affected nodule by the pathologist, who will then examine the nodule under the microscope and determine whether it is benign or malignant, before he concludes on the type of thyroid cancer, either papillary, follicular, anaplastic, medullary or a combination of the papillary-follicular. The common treatment options include surgical removal of the thyroid gland or sometimes the lymph nodes. Then a radiotherapy session follows after 5-6 weeks, only for the patients that show potential of the radioactive iodine therapy. Then one week after the radioactive iodine therapy, the affected person is administered with a thyroid hormone pill to sustain the body from the removed thyroid glands.

Classifications of the Treatment Options

Thyroid cancer has a variety of treatment and medication options. As said before, the most common treatment option is surgery, but medication is accompanied to facilitate the recovery process of the patient depending on the type of the treatment option. The three classification of drugs used in the treatment of the condition include Chemotherapy, Radioactive iodine, and the Thyroid Hormone medicine. These drug types are used depending on the necessity and the treatment process prescribed by the surgeon.


Chemotherapy is the most advanced medical option used to treat the recurrent Thyroid cancer that re-emerges after the surgery and it is also used to for the treatment of anaplastic thyroid cancer that is not responsive to radioactive iodine. Chemotherapy is a combination of the anti cancer drugs that are injected in blood streams or taken by mouth to destroy cancer cells. The major side effects of the drug include the hair loss, mouth sores, loss of appetite, diarrhea and nausea and vomiting. Chemo drugs can also affect heart functions.

Radioactive Iodine

This medicine is mostly used after the surgery and removal of the cancer cells by the doctor.  Radioactive iodine has the capability to destroy all the parts of the thyroid glands; therefore, a doctor determines the amount of dosage after scan of the glands. The drug is available in pill form, which can be taken from home, and in most cases, the doctor recommends frequent intake of fluids for the release of the fluid through the urine. The possible side-effects of the drug include the swelling of the salivary glands, the feeling of nausea and a metallic taste in the mouth (Milas, n.d.).

Thyroid Hormone Medicine

This category of medicine is used to supplement the absence of thyroid gland after the operation to replace its functions as the main source of the hormone in the body. The use of the thyroid hormone depends on the prescription by the doctor. This medicine has some side effects during usage and these include, swelling in lips, throat, tongue or face. In children, temporary hair loss may occur as a minor side effect.

Implications of Thyroid Cancer

Just as any other dangerous disease, Thyroid cancer has severe effects on the affected victims, as it results in many social disadvantages. For instance, a patient with this condition cannot be as productive as the healthy individual, meaning it lowers productivity. According to American Cancer Society,( n.d.), in the United States of America, the 2018 statistics reveal 53,990 new cases of thyroid cancer, with 40,900 being women and 13,090 men. The statistics also reveal the mortality rate of 2,060 from the condition, with 1,100 being women and 960 being men. Also 2% of the new cases occur in children and young teens. This highlights how deadly this disease and its effects are devastating.


American Cancer Society. (n.d.). Key Statistics for Thyroid Cancer:How common is thyroid cancer? Retrieved April 12, 2018, from American Cancer Society:

Clayman, G. (n.d.). Thyroid Cancer: Thyroid Cancer Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatments. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from Endocrineweb:

Milas, K. (n.d.). Radioactive Iodine for Hyperthyroidism. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from Endocrineweb:

Sargis, R. (n.d.). About the Endocrine System: Endocrine Glands and Hormones. Retrieved April 12, 2018, from Endocrineweb: