ONCOLOGY Vol 21 No 11_Suppl_Nurse_Ed | Oncology

Understanding and Treating Cancer-Related Fatigue

October 01, 2007

Fatigue is the most common side effect of cancer and its treatment, and it frequently goes unrecognized and untreated. While the exact etiology of fatigue is unclear, numerous contributing factors that worsen fatigue can be clinically addressed. Substantial research supports physical exercise as an intervention for fatigue.

Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer: High-Risk Management

October 01, 2007

The patient, DB, is a 51-year-old white, married female with a strong family history of breast cancer. She presented for high-risk assessment and genetic testing following the discovery of a deleterious mutation in a family member.

Erythropoietin-Stimulating Agents: New Data Yield New Insights

October 01, 2007

In cancer patients, anemia is multifactorial, resulting from cancer treatment, anemia of malignancy, blood loss, impaired production of or response to erythropoietin, and dysregulation of iron metabolism (decreased dietary iron intake, absorption, and utilization). Clinical studies have found that erythropoietin stimulating agents (ESAs) increase hemoglobin (Hb) levels and reduce the need for blood transfusions by 40%, with ESA-treated patients receiving an average of 1 unit less of red blood cells (RBCs) than non-ESA-treated anemic cancer patients.

Secondary Breast Cancer in a Woman Treated for Hodgkin Lymphoma as a Child

October 01, 2007

Overall survival of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is 90%; however, survival decreases with time owing to late complications, including subsequent malignancy. Female survivors of pediatric HL have increased morbidity and mortality associated with secondary effects of radiation therapy, most specifically the development of secondary breast cancer. It is estimated that female HL survivors have a 35- to 75-fold excess risk of developing breast cancer, with the greatest risk occurring 15 to 20 years after initial diagnosis. This risk time frame is more than 20 years before the median age (61 years) of breast cancer diagnosis among the general population. This equates to an HL survivor reaching the cumulative lifetime incidence of breast cancer by 40 years of age when compared with the general population.

Myelodysplastic Syndromes: Diagnosis, Treatment Planning, and Clinical Management

October 01, 2007

Abstract Innovations in the diagnosis, risk stratification, and treatment of the myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) have provided several new therapeutic options and renewed hope for patients with the disease. Optimal treatment requires careful evaluation of each patient using newly established criteria. Identifying the common symptoms in the MDS patient, integrating new therapies with novel mechanisms of anti-tumor activity and unique toxicity profiles, and developing tools to assist patients receiving these treatments have created unique challenges for the oncology nurse. Many of the emerging therapies have shown promise in tumor response and may be administered over extended periods of time. Most allow patients to be treated in an outpatient setting. This article will explore the diagnosis, treatment planning, and clinical management of patients with MDS.

Cancer Vaccines: A New Frontier in Prevention and Treatment

October 01, 2007

Vaccines have been exceptionally effective against diseases such as smallpox, measles, chickenpox, and polio. They are among the safest and most cost-effective agents for disease prevention. In recent years, vaccination has been considered for other diseases, including AIDS and cancer. Cancer vaccines can be categorized as preventive or therapeutic. Preventive vaccines, which are commercially available for cervical cancer and liver cancer, block infection with the causative agents of human papillomavirus and hepatitis B virus, respectively. The benefit of cancer treatment vaccines lies in their ability to "boost" the immune system response to cancer cells, which is generally low. Using vaccines in the treatment of cancer is relatively new, however, and chiefly experimental. Therapeutic vaccines for breast, lung, colon, skin, renal, prostate, and other cancers are now being investigated in clinical trials. Oncology nurses may play a significant role in reducing barriers to uptake of preventive vaccines among the general public and in increasing patients' acceptance of therapeutic cancer vaccines.

Psychiatry Consultation in a Patient With Early Breast Cancer

October 01, 2007

s. L is a married 41-year-old woman with recently diagnosed stage I breast cancer. She comes to her oncologist's office for a routine visit following her third cycle of preoperative doxorubicin hydrochloride (Adriamycin) and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan). Ms. L's major complaint is fatigue. The oncologist had started Ms. L on paroxetine (Paxil), a selective serotonergic reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), at 20 mg qhs 2 months earlier because of concerns that Ms. L might be depressed, based on her complaints about depressed mood, difficulties sleeping, and other depressive symptoms.