Conference Correspondent

BOSTON—Many patients are unaware of their risk of cancer-related lymphedema, and oncology nurses can be instrumental in raising consciousness about this debilitating adverse effect. Of breast cancer survivors, 22% to 66% develop lymphedema, said Jane Armer, PhD, RN, FAAN, Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri, in her poster presentation. Approximately 15% of nonbreast cancer patients also develop lymphedema. This chronic condition is optimally managed by a lymphedema therapist.


BOSTON—Bone loss and related complications are common in patients with cancer. And the problem is growing, with more patients with cancer aged 65 years and older and increased use of newer treatments that compromise bone mineral density (BMD). “As nurses, we have a very significant role to play in both prevention and management of [bone loss] problems,” said Carrie Tompkins Stricker, PhD, RN, oncology nurse practitioner, Abramson Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


BOSTON—As every oncology nurse knows, pain is no stranger to patients with advanced cancer. Even if background pain appears under control, studies show 23% to 89% of patients experience intermittent bouts of pain known as breakthrough cancer pain (BTCP). Variation in the incidence rates reflects variation in the definition of BTCP.


BOSTON—In an event that brought tears and laughter to those attending, CURE magazine recognized Marie Hayek, RN; Robert Martinez, LPN; and Rebecca Wojtecki, RN, BSN; as Extraordinary Healers. Nominees for the 5th annual Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing were selected based on essays submitted by patients, caregivers, and colleagues.


BOSTON—The growing use of oral oncolytics corresponds to a growing challenge with poor adherence to therapy. With more than 40 oral oncolytics available and dozens in the pipeline, Susan Moore, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCN, oncology nurse practitioner and consultant with MCG Oncology in Chicago, Illinois, warned nurses at the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) annual meeting that “the issue is not going to fade away.”


In a review of new drugs to hit the market, speaker Maribel Pereiras, PharmD, BCOP, BCPS, referred to 2010 as “quite the year for prostate and breast cancer.” Pereiras, a clinical assistant professor at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, and a clinical oncology pharmacist with Hackensack University Medical Center, New Jersey, reviewed newly approved anticancer agents sipuleucel-T (Provenge), cabazitaxel (Jevtana), eribulin (Halaven), and denosumab (Xgeva) for pharmacists attending the annual meeting of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association.

In a “Technical Issues” session at the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacist Association annual meeting, Bhavesh Shah, RPh, BCOP, a clinical pharmacy specialist in hematology/oncology with Boston Medical Center, in Massachusetts, discussed dose-rounding, rapid infusion, and other strategies his center has adopted to reduce costs.

Despite aggressive campaigns to educate Americans on the lifethreatening risks of smoking, nearly 500,000 people die each year in the United States from smoking-related illness, according to a recent study in Epidemiology. Even patients with smoking- related cancers have trouble quitting, with about two-thirds of patients with lung cancer continuing to smoke.

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