On July 17, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Nerlynx™ (neratinib) tablets, an oral kinase inhibitor, for the extended adjuvant treatment of adult patients with early-stage human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer, following adjuvant trastuzumab-based therapy.
Oncology nurses are generally compassionate people and dedicated to helping others live the best they can while experiencing a life-changing illness. Over time, such dedication can lead to compassion fatigue, especially when others suffer.
Despite the findings that more than 90% of cancer pain can be controlled with routine interventions, many patients continue to experience pain throughout their cancer diagnosis and treatment. The average pain score for patients on inpatient oncology units is 5.87 on a 0–10 scale, and 25% of patients spend more than 50% of the time in constant or severe pain.
Preventing a cancer diagnosis is the most surefire way to survive it. However, the public and news media communicate more about emerging treatments and newly approved oncology drugs and less about ways people can take steps to prevent cancer before it starts. Oncology nurses have a role and obligation to spread public health education and an attention to disease prevention, so many Americans change risky habits that would otherwise lead to future cancer diagnoses.
So far, 2017 has seen an incredible amount of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals for new agents and indications. Biotherapy and targeted agents represent many of the newly approved treatment options—a great deal of which are offered in oral form, increasing the opportunity for patients to receive treatment at home.