This month’s issue of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON) has a focus on ovarian cancer. We update you with some of the latest research as presented at the European Cancer Congress (ECCO/ESMO/ESTRO), the Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium, and the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics.
In addition, Peg Ford reflects on “how things have changed not only in treatment, but also in research” since she became involved in the world of medicine as an advocate after her own battle with ovarian cancer. Peg states “Because ovarian cancer is very heterogeneous molecularly, the need for personalized precision treatment is advancing the interest and focus of the scientific world.” She tells us about some early-stage studies, including of the “PapGene” test, a 3-in-1 screening for gynecologic cancers. Be sure to see Peg’s list of resources for all involved in the fight against ovarian cancer—from patients and survivors to researchers and healthcare providers.
The Patient’s Voice column for this month was written by Tania Homonchuk. Tania is an emergency room doctor who is an ovarian cancer survivor. Her story from “the other side of the stethoscope” gives us a unique perspective on how a woman copes with receiving this diagnosis (“How do you tell your kids you have cancer?”) and subsequent treatments. Tania encourages us all to “think about nonspecific symptoms differently and keep ovarian cancer in mind—it is so silent and for many the journey to diagnosis is long and arduous.”
Be sure to read Angela Long’s article, “A Thrust Into Vulnerability.” She notes that she has found it bewildering how differently patients and survivors perceive their cancer journeys. Angela discusses how “vulnerability” is the key that shapes one’s experience with cancer, a realization she came to after viewing a TED talk by Brené Brown. Brown believes that the ability to accept this vulnerability can lead individuals to “turn life’s challenges into gateways to courage, compassion, and connection.” Angela’s insight can help us all as we work with patients and survivors.
All of us at TON wish you the best for 2014.