Community Support Makes a Difference in HIV/AIDS Treatment
Since 1981, more than 700,000 Americans have died from HIV/AIDS. Nearly 32 million people have died worldwide, and experts suggest that almost 38 million are currently infected with the virus. In the decades since the disease was first discovered, HIV/AIDS treatments have advanced, providing patients with a chance to manage a once-deadly diagnosis. With an active and outspoken community of advocates, patients with HIV/AIDS have seen a swell of support.
Title VIII Support; Trump's 2021 Federal Budget; Ineffective E-Cigarette Ban
When oncology nurses speak, people listen. An op-ed column published February 24, 2020, written by ONS member Janice Phillips, PhD, RN, FAAN, outlined the potential harm to the future of health care and the nursing profession if the Trump administration’s budget cuts are approved. As an oncology nurse, Phillips’ insights have made a difference in Washington before, and she explained that the budget cuts could target key funding for items like nursing development and workforce programs.
FDA Revamps Anti-Smoking, Vaping Initiative
The growing rates of teen vaping and e-cigarette use have been a focal point at the national legislative level for the past several years. From the U.S. surgeon general’s youth vaping epidemic announcement to the investigation of vaping industry leader Juul, congressional representatives have been busy addressing the issue.
Nurses Lead Charge for HPV Prevention
Only 65% of all U.S. teens have received the first dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine—and only 48.6% of those teens are up to date with the series of HPV vaccinations. Studies have shown the HPV vaccination is effective at reducing the rates of cervix, vaginal, anal, and penile cancers. HPV vaccination rates have become a national health prevention priority, and oncology nurses can help lead the discussion about ways to prevent more than 90% of all HPV-related cancers.
HPV Vaccine Has an Indirect Benefit: Herd Immunity
As more people receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to protect themselves from strains of the virus that can cause cervical, anal, oropharyngeal, penile, vulvar, and vaginal cancers, researchers are starting to see herd immunity, where even people who haven’t received the vaccine are developing fewer oral HPV infections. The findings were published in JAMA.
Ovarian Cancer: Prevention, Screening, Treatment, and Survivorship Recommendations
Even though its incidence is less common, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of death from cancer in women, according to the American Cancer Society. It also estimated more than 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer in 2019, with a five-year survival of 47% for all stages.
Prostate Cancer Prevention, Screening, Treatment, and Survivorship Recommendations
One in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, the second leading cause of death in men in the United States. Survival varies greatly depending on the disease’s severity and extent at diagnosis: five-year survival rates are near 100% for local or regional disease, but they drop to 30% for metastatic prostate cancer.
January Is Cervical Health Awareness Month
In 2020, approximately 13,800 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. Prevention and screening are critical to reducing its incidence, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched an awareness campaign in January in recognition of Cervical Health Awareness Month. The movement educates women about cervical cancer risks, how and when to get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, the vaccine’s impact on cancer rates, and how to promote awareness.
WHO Reports First Global HPV Vaccine Data
New cancer prevention strategies like the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine are making waves throughout the United States and around the world. Evidence has shown that the vaccine can help protect against certain cancers such as cervical, anal, oropharyngeal, penile, vulvar, and vaginal in people who receive the vaccine. For the first time ever, the World Health Organization (WHO) has global data outlining HPV coverage in countries across the globe.
USPSTF Updates Recommendations on Breast Cancer Prevention
Certain groups of women who are at increased risk for carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes should be assessed for the need for genetic testing, and women at increased risk for breast cancer and low risk of adverse events should be offered risk-reducing medications, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended.
Majority Favors Lowering Nicotine Levels in Cigarettes
The evidence is clear: Nicotine is an addictive substance. Even current smokers acknowledge its power, and addiction information is required in advertisements and product promotions. Despite tobacco’s known issues, people still smoke at alarming rates. With vaping, e-cigarettes, and flavored tobacco being introduced to younger and younger consumers, youth smoking is on the rise for the first time in decades.
CDC Estimates That 92% of HPV-Related Cancers Could Be Prevented
For years, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been promoted for its potential role in cancer prevention. In a study released in August 2019 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the agency estimated that nearly 92% of all HPV-related cancers could be prevented through proper vaccination.
The Case of the Nicotine Nightmare
Jill works as an oncology nurse in a large community hospital. While attending a family gathering, her uncle proudly tells her that he and his 17-year-old son are using e-cigarettes to help them stop smoking traditional cigarettes. He comments that his wife now allows them to “smoke” in the house and car because the vapor is relatively odor free.
Model May Help Predict Lung Cancer Risk in Patients With Nodules
A risk-prediction model that combines patients’ health history with clinical characteristics of their lung nodules may help physicians determine which will develop into cancer, according to the results of a study published in Cancer Prevention Research.
Nurses Impact Health Policy; State Vaping Legislation; Pelosi's Drug Plan
As ONS advocates participate in the 2019 ONS Capitol Hill Days training and advocacy event in Washington, DC, from September 22–24, 2019, a recent Journal of Nursing Administration post about nursing influence in health policy is timely. It serves as a reminder that a nurse’s work in patient-centered care goes beyond the bedside or chairside. Nurses are educators, influencers, innovators, and sage guides for patients, policymakers, and the greater healthcare industry.
FDA Calls Out Juul; Opioid Crackdown; States Tackle Drug Pricing
With more deaths reported from vaping and a forceful U.S. Senate declaration to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acting commissioner to either enact stronger federal provisions restricting e-cigarettes, flavored tobacco, and inhalants or resign, the Trump administration moved quickly to demonstrate a recognition that cessation is a national, bipartisan concern. FDA sent a warning letter to Juul about its marketing and labeling, and the president, Health and Human Services secretary, and FDA commissioner issued very public statements on the matter, making it clear that federal oversight will be enforced on youth tobacco issues.
Cancer Prevention Starts in Childhood
The cancer prevention conversation is tricky for providers to navigate. Not surprisingly, people want to do everything it their power to prevent cancer. But sometimes conversations involve uncomfortable elements of health care—like sex or sexually transmitted diseases—that can quickly derail the discussion. Despite this, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is one case where prevention efforts have a led to huge increases in participation, especially among children. Following that thread, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have committed to spearheading the cancer prevention conversation by encouraging people to discuss cancer prevention early in their children’s lives.
Eliminating Private Insurance; Raising the Smoking Age; HPV Vaccine Recommendation
Candidates in the first Democratic presidential debate spent some time addressing issues related to healthcare access. In point-blank questions, they were asked what they might do in support of Medicare for All, especially whether they’d be in favor of eliminating private insurance companies. Many were supportive of the overarching legislation, some were wary of eliminating insurance companies outright, and others flat out opposed it.
Congress Tackles Youth Smoking; Pelosi Drug Pricing; Biden's Cancer Commitment
Healthcare advocates assembled in the U.S. Congress to hear from panelists about the national epidemic of youth smoking. From those conversations, a common theme emerged: many believe that the rise in youth vaping and smoking is directly related to marketing and sales tactics by large tobacco manufacturers.
Innovative Technology Improves Provider Education on Distress Management for Cancer Survivors
Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and cognitive difficulties are just some mental health concerns that can affect cancer survivors: those living with, through, and beyond a cancer diagnosis. As many as three out of every four cancer survivors can experience acute or chronic symptoms of psychological distress, which can negatively affect quality of life, engagement in follow-up care, and health outcomes.
Changing Leadership Won’t Affect FDA’s Role in Public Health, Awareness, and Prevention
Nestled in the sleepy suburbs of Washington, DC, lies an influential agency that continues to have a growing impact on every American’s life. In fact, public opinion surveys indicate that the agency enjoys a broad range of support in the federal government and across the country in its work protecting people. Seen almost daily on the evening news, FDA encompasses a vast network of public health priorities important to many people’s daily lives.
Everyone Means Me, Everyone Includes You: Improving the Practice of Cancer Screening
As we reflect on the progress we’ve made to prevent and control cancer and focus on strategies that will help build on those efforts, one thing is certain: We’ve learned a lot about cancer, but we still have much to learn. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits and knowing your family’s history, especially as you get older, can help you lower a patient’s—or nurse’s—chance of getting cancer.
Make Nicotine Nonaddictive to Reduce Tobacco-Related Disease and Death
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, released a statement on March 28, 2019, about FDA’s new efforts to reduce tobacco-related disease and death through greater, far-reaching regulation on the tobacco industry. Coming on the heels of his announced departure from his role as of June 2019, the work would ensure his legacy as a staunch proponent of smoking cessation.
Health Disparities Are a Focus for NIH Cancer Awareness and Prevention Promotions
The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) mission is to enhance health and reduce illness throughout the country. Cancer, as the second leading cause of death in the United States, tops the list of diseases on which NIH is focused. Understanding the impact of health disparities, NIH has effectively widened its reach to touch more underserved communities with new prevention efforts.
Providing Expert Testimony in the Virginia State Senate
In early January 2019, I had the opportunity to represent ONS before the Virginia State Senate Finance Committee on the growing epidemic of electronic cigarettes and vaping device use among youth. In Richmond, VA, I delivered testimony about the dangerous health ramifications of this newer trend of tobacco use.
CDC Encourages Screening, Vaccination for HPV to Fight Cervical Cancer
Recent congressional hearings about vaccination have caused a litany of responses from different members of the public, private, and political sectors. Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evidence has shown that human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has led to fewer cases of HPV-related cancers.
Modifying Five Lifestyle Factors Could Change the U.S. Cancer Burden
Tobacco, obesity, alcohol, diet, and physical activity are major risk factors for cancer, yet all are modifiable, according to findings released in a new report from the American Cancer Society. Reducing tobacco use is the highest priority, but interventions for all five risk factors are essential for a comprehensive U.S. cancer control plan.
What Women Need to Know About Preventing Gynecologic Cancers
Not that long ago, women were told to get a Pap test every year. And most of us did, even though it wasn’t always clear why we were being tested. We just did what we were told and thought it was a surefire way to stay healthy. But times and recommendations have changed about what test to have, how often to have it, and the reason to have it.
NIH Office of Disease Prevention Raises Profile
In an open letter to the research and advocacy community, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, announced the Office of Disease Prevention’s (ODP) new strategic plan to “strengthen research through increased coordination and facilitation among NIH institutes, centers, and offices, including leveraging the power of new portfolio analysis tools, ensuring ongoing communications with stakeholders, and building trans-NIH partnerships to address gaps in prevention research.”
CDC Announces National Screen Out Cancer Health Campaign
Targeted to healthcare providers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new public service health campaign to call attention to the importance of regular screenings for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. The Screen Out Cancer campaign is designed to raise awareness to ensure that patients and providers know that prevention begins with knowledge.
President’s Cancer Panel Calls for Renewed Commitment to Vaccinate for HPV
For years, the human papillomavirus vaccination (HPV) has been recommended to young adult patients to help prevent certain forms of cancer. In a November 2018 report, the President’s Cancer Panel recommended to further the United States’ goal to prevent cancer associated with HPV.
What Is Metformin’s Impact on Pancreatic Cancer Risk?
Metformin is one of the oldest and most reliable pharmacologic treatments for type-2 diabetes and had, in the past, been suggested as a potential pancreatic cancer risk reducer in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Although more recent versions of the guidelines have removed that language, our team was curious about the possible link between metformin and pancreatic cancer risk.
Cancer Prevention: Oncology Nurses Save Lives by Raising Awareness
Despite flashy television campaigns, countless pamphlets and brochures, and seemingly constant reminders, people are still unaware of important cancer prevention information. The World Health Organization estimated that 30%–50% of all cancer cases are preventable. But between modifiable behaviors, hereditary and genetic risks, infectious agents, and more, the general public finds itself mostly unprepared to tackle the cancer prevention conversation.
HPV 9-Valent Vaccine Approved for People Aged 27–45
In October 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the approved use of the human papillomavirus (HPV) 9-valent vaccine to include women and men aged 27–45 years. Previously, the vaccine had been approved for males and females aged 9–26 years, but the expanded approval was granted after the application had undergone priority review.
Despite Low Disease Recurrence, Long-Term AML Survivors Require Preventative Care
Many patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) achieve complete remission (CR) after induction chemotherapy; however, just 30% of patients maintain CR for three years or longer. Long-term outcomes for those who do maintain CR are largely unknown. Results from a new study have shown that new medical problems frequently occur, and patients require routine surveillance and preventative measures. Catherine Kendall Major, BS, of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Lakeland, TN, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting on December 3, 2018.
CDC Spreads Breast Cancer Awareness
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent out a reminder to healthcare providers to share education and resources with their patients about breast cancer screening, detection, and prevention. CDC included a list for providers to highlight:
- Breast cancer risk factors
- Knowing what to do to lower those risks
- When to get regular breast cancer screenings
How Patients Can Benefit From Hereditary Cancer Support
My story, like many of your patients, is unfortunately not that uncommon: I’m a motherless daughter. I lost my mom to breast cancer when I was 26 years old; she lost her mother to the disease before she graduated high school. The BRCA1 mutation has been passed down in my family, and I, too, carry the mutation. Even though it was expected, I was devastated and desperately looking for resources to help manage my cancer risk. It was scary not knowing where to turn. I needed to know that I wasn’t alone.
“It Prevents Cancer” May Be Key to HPV Vaccine Communication
In 2016, only 43% of U.S. adolescents had received routine human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations. Findings from a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention indicate that the type of strategy providers use to communicate the need for the vaccine may influence parents’ choices.
Recommended Surveillance Periods May Be Incorrect for Gynecologic Cancers
Standardized surveillance recommendations may be too short for patients with ovarian cancer and too long for other gynecologic cancers, according to findings from a study presented at the 2018 Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer.
FDA Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Triggers ONS Response to Reduce Nicotine, Ban Flavors, and Regulate Premium Cigars
In response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on setting a tobacco standard for nicotine levels in combusted cigarettes, ONS submitted comments urging the agency to lower nicotine levels in combusted cigarettes and all tobacco products. Specifically, ONS recommended lowering the level of nicotine to a maximum of 0.4 mg or lower and that the ratio of tar to nicotine stay around 1 to reduce addiction. ONS pointed out that even lower levels of nicotine are harmful to health. ONS also cautioned the agency about the harm of additives in tobacco, including sugar, that counteract reduced nicotine levels.
How Oncology Nurses Can Support Childhood Cancer Survivors
More than 13,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in the United States. Because treatment options continue to improve, more than 80% of those children will survive at least five years after their diagnosis.
Small Steps Toward Sun Safety Can Make a Big Difference
I haven’t always been convinced of the importance of sun safety. In my younger years, I got more sunburns than I’d like to admit in an attempt to develop a tan. In college, I spent afternoons studying outside on a sunny quad with nothing more than shorts and a tank top for sun protection.
GOP Steers Away From Obamacare Repeal, Replace; Is Cigarette Prohibition on the Horizon?; Barbara Bush’s End-of-Life Decision Makes Waves
After a flurry of proposed legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare—the unofficial name for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)— the GOP has shifted its focus to other policy issues. In fact, many Republican senators and congressional representatives have removed any mention of the healthcare law from their websites. With the 2018 midterm elections approaching, GOP lawmakers are seemingly breaking with the Trump administration’s stance on the healthcare law, recognizing that their constituents may be in favor of the ACA’s many protections.
Cancer Prevention and Awareness Starts With Oncology Nurses
April is designated as National Cancer Control Month in the United States. It’s a federally endorsed observation, annually encouraged by a proclamation from the president. April is dedicated to raising awareness for cancer prevention and treatment throughout the country. Approved through a joint resolution by Congress in 1938, the yearly presidential announcement serves as a reminder to all Americans that awareness of the factors that cause or prevent cancer are crucial to the public health.
Prevent Colorectal Cancer Through Screening
Of cancers affecting both men and women, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading killer in the United States. In 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 139,992 people in the United States were diagnosed with CRC and 51,651 people died from it. Oncology nurses know that screening tests allow for healthcare providers to remove polyps before they become cancer or identify CRC in its earliest, most treatable stages. Clearly, screening is key to preventing CRC, most insurance plans cover screening, and patients now have more screening test options than ever. So why is CRC still so common? Why do people we know and care about still get this disease?
CDC Offers Insight on Common Cancer Questions
To ensure more Americans understand the public health implications of cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is taking an active role in creating awareness activities. By posting commonly asked questions, the CDC hopes to demystify cancer and its treatment to the uninitiated, while also helping survivors and caregivers better comprehend the cancer journey.