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.
Childhood Cancer Act Signed Into Law; Study Finds That Many Patients With Breast Cancer Can Skip Chemo; Plan to Lower Drug Prices Could Increase Costs for Some Patients
It’s been a long time coming, but the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act was finally signed into law on June 6 by President Trump. The act focuses on advancing pediatric cancer research and treatments along with improving screening programs and supporting patients into survivorship. As with many issues in the U.S. capital, the issue had two sides: many healthcare professionals see it as a win to support childhood cancer survivors, but it raised concerns for others about potential coverage issues.
Nurses Should Focus on Goal Setting and Shared Decision Making in Cancer Aftercare Conversations
Goal setting and shared decision making are important components of aftercare for cancer survivors. In the results of a study published in conjunction with the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, researchers shared their experience developing and pretesting a systematic conversation approach for nurses to tailor the aftercare needs and goals of cancer survivors.
House and Senate Pass the Childhood Cancer STAR Act
On May 22, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S.B. 292, the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act. The legislation will improve efforts to identify and track childhood cancer incidence, improve quality of life for childhood cancer survivors, ensure pediatric expertise at the National Institutes of Health by requiring the National Cancer Advisory Board to have at least one pediatric oncology expert on its board, and identify opportunities to increase childhood cancer research to better treat the 10,270 children diagnosed with cancer in the United States every year.
APRNs Bridge the Gap in Survivorship Care
As improved screening, diagnosis, and treatments lead to cancer’s classification as a chronic disease, people with cancer are surviving longer than ever before. However, with lengthened survival comes long-term physical and emotional symptoms and other sequelae that require ongoing surveillance and management. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are essential to delivering quality survivorship care.
Get an Overview of Radiation Therapy for Cancer
Radiation therapy is a precise cancer treatment that targets tumor cells specifically and spares healthy surrounding tissues. Contrary to pharmacologic treatment methodologies, side effects are predominantly site-specific.
Heart Failure Affects Long-Term Survival Among Older Women With Breast Cancer
Research has shown that women aged 65 and older who have breast cancer experience higher rates of heart failure compared to their age-matched counterparts, ranging from 29% of women with breast cancer who received no chemotherapy to 38% of women who received treatment with anthracyclines. However, little is known about the association between heart failure and long-term survival in older women with breast cancer, and it is unclear how the relative contribution of heart failure to mortality risk varies by breast cancer stage.
Adherence to Nutritional and Physical Activity Guidelines Improves Survival in Patients With Colon Cancer
The American Cancer Society (ACS) has guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer survivors that focus on healthy body weight, physical activity, and a diet high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. To assess how adherence to those guidelines impacts disease-free survival (DFS), relapse-free survival (RFS), or overall survival (OS), researchers conducted a prospective study of 992 patients with stage III colon cancer who enrolled in an adjuvant chemotherapy clinical trial between 1991 and 2001. The researchers presented the study at the ASCO Annual Meeting.
Healthy Lifestyle Choices for Survivors of Cancer
The 2012 American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer survivors suggest achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical exercise and following healthy dietary patterns.
The Role of Acupuncture in Treating Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Survivors
Hot flashes, also known as hot flushes, are marked by periods of sudden, intense feelings of warmth that begin at the chest and radiate to the neck and face, along with flushing, sweating, and heart palpitations, lasting several seconds to minutes. Compared to healthy postmenopausal women, breast cancer patients and survivors are prone to experiencing more severe and longer-lasting hot flashes. A bothersome symptom, hot flashes can occur anytime during a 24-hour period, but those occurring at night are most troubling because they interfere with sleep. Sleep deprivation negatively impacts daytime functioning as well as pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety levels, diminishing quality of life significantly.
Patient-Reported Tool to Evaluate Distress Predicts Survival
The Living With Cancer (LWC) patient-reported outcome (PRO) tool evaluates distress in patients with advanced cancer using a seven-item Likert survey to measure performance status, pain, burden (financial and family), and depression, with scores ranging from 0–112.
Annual State-of-Cancer Report Encouraging for Patients, Providers
The latest edition of the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2014, confirms that death rates are decreasing for 11 of the 16 most common types of cancer in men and 13 of the 18 most common types in women.
How Do You Use Free Online Tools to Create Survivorship Care Plans?
Journey Forward, a free online survivorship tool, allows oncology professionals to create personalized treatment plans, treatment summaries, and care plans that can be printed out and shared with patients and their primary care providers.
New Web Tool Seeks to Advise Cancer Survivors on Managing Health
In a joint venture between the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS), a new web tool aims to provide better understanding for cancer survivors’ treatment options and what happens to them when treatment is over. The initiative, Springboard Beyond Cancer, is meant to empower survivors by providing them when education and resources about living beyond their cancer diagnosis. Springboard Beyond Cancer aims to address the following survivorship issues for patients.
Helping Patients Live Beyond Their Cancer Diagnosis
For more than 14 million Americans, a cancer diagnosis is something they live with everyday. While some may just be embarking on their cancer journey, many others have completed their trek and are living beyond their cancer diagnosis. For those patients, they experienced the joy and relief that came with finally finishing their treatments. However, there often can be uncertainty when patients consider their lives after cancer. Sometimes, many are left wondering, “What happens next?”
Aerobic and Resistance Exercise May Reduce Comorbidities in Cancer Survivors
Genetic Testing Is Important for Survivorship
Cancer survivorship is filled with many challenges, hopes, and expectations. June 5 marks National Survivorship Day, and survivorship is being celebrated throughout the month. Survivors are often not sure where they're going once their cancer journey commences. In my practice, I care for people with a genetic risk for cancer, and I work with survivors on a regular basis.