The December issue of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON) is filled with important news and insights for today’s oncology nurse. We begin our coverage with a profile of the Adena Cancer Center, Chillicothe, OH, as we speak with Jina Fields, RN, BSN, who discusses her professional responsibilities at the center, some of the rewards and challenges related to her day-to-day duties, and which advances in the treatment of cancer she believes hold the most promise for improving patient outcomes.
“I find it extremely rewarding to be able to help patients cope with their fears and anxieties and to be the face of hope for them,” she told TON.
We also feature key presentations and studies from national and international meetings, including the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) 44th Annual Congress, the 2019 Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer/International Society of Oral Oncology (MASCC/ISOO) annual meeting, and the 2019 ASCO Quality Care Symposium.
In a session at ONS, Suzanne Mahon, RN, DNSc, AOCN, AGN-BC, CNS, Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University, MO, discussed the importance of providing formal genetic counseling to direct patients and their families to the correct screening and prevention services, and to guide decisions about genetic testing.
“If the risk is high enough, and we think there’s a reasonable chance that we would find something in genetic testing, we might offer—and I want you to hear me say this over and over again—offer testing,” she said. “No one should ever feel like they have to do it.”
In a noteworthy presentation at MASCC/ISOO, Sangeeta Agarawal, RN, CAS, MS, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Helpsy Health, San Francisco, CA, discussed how technology can play an important role in keeping patients with cancer engaged in their own healthcare.
“It’s serving the purpose that it was meant to serve, which is to connect people in meaningful ways to address their needs,” she said. “And now this technology is beyond the prototype stage. It’s scalable, it’s mature, it’s reliable, and it’s being reimbursed by CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services],” she said.
In a presentation at the 2019 ASCO Quality Care Symposium, Cary P. Gross, MD, Director, Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness Research Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, explained the importance of incorporating the patient perspective in clinical pathways, which may hold the promise of delivering truly personalized medicine while improving value-based care and clinical outcomes.
“It’s still the Wild West out there in terms of treatment. Patients aren’t really impressed that there are 44 different treatment options they can receive. They want to know what’s best for them, which is why we need these pathways,” he told attendees.
This issue of TON also features results from a recent clinical trial demonstrating the beneficial role of circulating tumor DNA sequencing in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cholangiocarcinoma, and an update on ongoing efforts to enact oral parity laws to reduce disparities in cancer care.
As always, we hope you will enjoy this issue of TON and look forward to receiving your feedback. You can contact us via e-mail at [email protected].