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Breast cancer affects more women than any other type of cancer, and represents 15% of all new cancer cases in the United States. A total of 252,710 new breast cancer cases were estimated to be diagnosed in 2017, and more than 40,600 deaths. The prognosis worsens for patients with locally advanced breast cancer and even more so for those with metastatic disease.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a rare but deadly cancer. Approximately 21,400 new cases of AML were diagnosed in 2017 in the United States, and nearly 10,600 people died from the disease. Approximately 60% to 70% of adults with AML respond to initial treatment with cytotoxic chemotherapy. However, the 5-year survival rate for patients with AML remains poor at approximately 27%.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), a form of cancer that starts in the lymphatic system, is the most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in adults. In the United States, approximately 72,000 new cases of NHL are diagnosed annually; more than 20,000 people were estimated to die from the disease in 2017.
In ovarian epithelial cancer, fallopian tube cancer, and primary peritoneal cancer, malignant cells form in the tissue covering the ovary or lining the fallopian tube or peritoneum. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2017 more than 22,000 women in the United States were estimated to be diagnosed with these cancers and more than 14,000 to die from them.
The fluoropyrimidine 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and its prodrug capecitabine are cytotoxic agents that have been widely used in the treatment of solid tumors. In the United States alone, an estimated 275,000 patients with cancer receive 5-FU each year. Despite its lifesaving/life-prolonging potential, 5-FU causes severe early-onset toxicity in up to one-fourth of patients, and more than 1300 die each year as a result of this toxicity.
The role of nurse navigators has grown exponentially in recent years, and is now regarded as an integral element of oncology treatment and patient care. The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) defines patient navigation as the “process whereby a patient is given individualized support across the continuum of care, beginning with community outreach to raise awareness and perform cancer screening, through the diagnosis and treatment process, and on to short- and long-term survivorship or end of life.” At the Best Practices in Lung Cancer Navigation Summit, held October 22, 2016, in Rosemont, IL, oncology nurse navigators involved in the care of patients with lung cancer convened to discuss the complexities and role of nurse navigators in the treatment of lung cancer.

In 1979, Falck and colleagues described the presence of chemotherapy in the urine of nurses caring for patients who had received chemotherapy.1 The discovery that merely handling chemotherapy drugs can lead to absorption of the chemotherapy drugs has been key in the re-evaluation of safety in healthcare environments. In 2004, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) alert noted that skin rashes, infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, and leukemia or other cancers may be associated with working with or near hazardous drugs.2

From 2004 to 2013, 22 new oral anticancer medications were introduced in the United States, which is almost the same number (27) of oral anticancer medications that were introduced in the previous 50 years combined. Of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved myeloma novel therapies, 5 are orally administered. With the FDA approval of ixazomib (Ninlaro; a first-in-class oral proteasome inhibitor) in November 2015, an all-oral treatment combination for patients with myeloma is now a reality with the combination of ixazomib, lenalidomide (Revlimid), and dexamethasone (Decadron)
Welcome to our first newsletter in the Conquering the Multiple Myeloma Continuum series, which focuses on adherence to oral medications in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). In the first newsletter, you learned about some of the major causes of nonadherence that patients and their providers face; this second newsletter provides some strategies and solutions
The past decade has witnessed dramatic progress in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), which has resulted in unprecedented improvements in survival outcomes.
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