Welcome to the first issue of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON) for 2013. We’ll be publishing 11 issues this year, keeping you up-to-date about what is happening in the world of oncology research and bringing you information that helps you in your day-to-day practice.
In this issue, we tell you about some of the news coming out of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS). Our coverage from SABCS includes the results of a study indicating that “chemo brain,” the cognitive changes identified in patients undergoing chemotherapy, is present in patients with breast cancer prior to undergoing chemotherapy and appears to be related to fatigue and anxiety. As Bernadine Cimprich, PhD, RN, stated, “These findings underscore the need for increased awareness among clinicians that cognitive problems can begin before treatment…. Early identification of women at greater risk is important, because cognitive problems can worsen over time.” We also report on an SABCS presentation that pointed out the importance of addressing sexual issues in breast cancer survivors. As one of the presenters said, “The foremost issue is breaking the silence. If you don’t see sexual problems in your practice, you are not asking the right questions.”
This issue also starts our coverage of the news from the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting. You’ll see more in next month’s issue as we cover the highlights from ASH.
Be sure to read MMA’s article about how she struggled to adhere to her medication regimen at home after more than 8 months of hospital-based treatment. She writes about not wanting to be a “cancer patient” anymore and how this affected her feelings toward taking her medications. This month’s Reader Poll asks if your patients talk to you about how to adhere to their medication regimen when they return home (see page 8). Please tell us what your patients are telling you and how you respond to their concerns.
As always, I encourage you to visit our website, www.TheOncologyNurse.com. Be sure to tell us what topics you want to see covered in TON. We want to hear from you, and we appreciate your feedback—positive and negative—about what you see in print and on the website.