ONCOLOGY Vol 21 No 8_Suppl | Oncology

Managing Painful Surface Wounds

July 01, 2007

Gina, age 9, and Rosemary, age 66. They had different cancers, but developed similar skin ulcers over their entire bodies. Gina's wounds were open to air for 4 weeks. Her pain was severe. Two weeks after starting wound care, Gina allowed us to take pictures of her wounds. We promised to teach doctors and nurses how to care for her wounds. Unfortunately, Gina died. The pictures were lost. A year later, Rosemary was admitted with a similar skin condition and allowed us to photograph the progression of her wound care. Our promise to Gina is now kept. Here we describe the wound care plan necessary to relieve the pain and discomfort of partial-thickness wounds from dermatological conditions in oncology patients.

Implementing Change: A View From the Trenches

July 01, 2007

With perhaps 100 patients scheduled for chemotherapy each day and about the same number of consultations, the nurses, physicians, and staff in any medium-sized oncology clinic are fully booked. Changing their routines may be the last thing anyone wants to think about.

Management of Comorbid Diabetes and Cancer

July 01, 2007

Diabetes mellitus is a frequent comorbidity of cancer patients. The growing epidemic of diabetes is anticipated to have tremendous impact on health care. Diabetes may negatively impact both cancer risk and outcomes of treatment. Oncology nurses are ideally positioned to identify patients at risk for complications that arise from cancer treatment in the setting of pre-existing diabetes. Additionally, oncology nurses may be the first to identify underlying hyperglycemia/hidden diabetes in a patient undergoing cancer treatment. Strategies for assessment and treatment will be discussed, along with specific strategies for managing hyperglycemia, potential renal toxicity, and peripheral neuropathy. Guidelines for aggressive treatment of hyperglycemia to minimize risks of complications will be reviewed. The role of interdisciplinary care, utilizing current evidence, is crucial to supporting patients and their families as they manage the challenges of facing two life-limiting diseases. Whole-person assessment and individualized treatment plans are key to maximizing quality of life for patients with cancer and diabetes.

Ovarian Cancer and Lower Limb Lymphedema

July 01, 2007

C.W., is a 46-year-old white female who presented to her gynecologist complaining of an egg-shaped mass between her right hip bone and umbilicus, and irregular menstrual cycles. Physical examination confirmed a large palpable mass in her lower abdominal area. Past medical history was unremarkable. She was not taking any regular medications. She has been married for 17 years and has worked as a respiratory therapist for 16 years in a large pediatric hospital. She had been actively participating in a program of daily exercise at an area health club that included aerobics and weight training. She is a social drinker and denies any illicit drug use.

Antiemetic Agents

July 01, 2007

FDA-Approved Drugs: 5-HT3 receptor antagonists Zofran (ondansetron), Kytril (granisetron), Anzamet (dolasetron), Aloxi (palonosetron); NK-1 receptor antagonist: Aprepitant (Emend)

The Oncology Nurse's Role in the Informed Consent Process

July 01, 2007

Cancer clinical trials are a necessary component of the effort to improve cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Essential to this process is the informed consent of the individuals who participate in these research studies. The purpose of this article is to describe patient, provider, and informed consent process issues with presentations of data reported in the current literature. The role of nursing in the facilitation of informed consent is discussed.