From The Editor TON October 2020

TON - October 2020, Vol 13, No 5
Catherine Bishop, DNP, NP-C, AOCNP
Hematology/Oncology Nurse Practitioner

I was very honored to be asked to take the reins as the new Editor-in-Chief of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON) by the founding Editor-in-Chief Beth Faiman, PhD, MSN, APRN-BC, AOCN, FAAN. Although Beth will be a hard act to follow, I will do my best to maintain the high standards she has established for the journal.

One of my goals will be to continue to highlight the exemplary roles of nurse practitioners and physician assistants in oncology. The impact that these advanced practice providers (APPs) have on patients’ lives as they sojourn through their treatment and beyond is significant, and at times, life-altering. APPs have unique and diverse roles in medical oncology and are highly skilled in symptom management and oncology-specific procedures, and I will strive to offer valuable insights on the interesting relationships they have with their physician partners. I will also be working to engage some of my nurse practitioner colleagues, as well as oncology nurses, social workers, and oncology board-certified pharmacists in providing their expertise. We all learn from one another and are better clinicians when we join hands in caring for patients with cancer.

In this October issue of TON, we feature a variety of articles aimed at helping you stay informed on the important issues facing nursing professionals and patients during these unprecedented times. We begin our coverage with highlights from the recent Association for Value-Based Cancer Care’s COVID-19 Impact on Cancer Care and Road to Recovery webcast series. In a noteworthy session, a panel of experts discussed the challenges that nurses and other healthcare professionals face as they work to provide safe and effective care to patients, including the fallout from delayed cancer screenings caused by the pandemic (see here).

“We will see a backup of people who have not been screened, followed by a higher incidence in mortality. Nurse navigators need to be thinking about prioritization for cancer prevention and control,” said Andrea Dwyer, BS, Vice Chair of Colorado Cancer Coalition, and Co-Chair of the National Navigation Roundtable of the American Cancer Society, during the session.

A more in-depth look at the challenge of delayed screenings can be found in a feature article authored by Sheryl A. Riley, RN, OCN, CMCN, Chief Nursing Officer, Beacon Advocates, St. Petersburg, FL (see here).

We also feature a profile of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore. In this article, TON spoke with Nancy Corbitt, BSN, RN, OCN, CRNI, about her role as an oncology nurse navigator at the center and the challenges and rewards of her job (see here).

“The most important aspect of my job is to develop a rapport with patients and their families. I have found that once I earn their trust, they are more willing to share concerns with me, and I am better able to help them,” Ms Corbitt noted.

We also feature a new report from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which addresses the important topic of cancer health disparities in the United States (see here).

“An individual’s race, ethnicity, geographic location, or income should not dictate his or her cancer outcomes, but unfortunately, this is exactly what is happening today,” said AACR President Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, FAACR, Professor of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, during a virtual presentation.

In addition, this issue features overviews of several presentations made during the July 2020 AACR virtual meeting on COVID-19 and cancer, including a keynote lecture by Anthony S. Fauci, MD, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (see here).

“Of all the viruses I have dealt with, I am impressed by the extraordinarily wide spectrum of disease ranging from asymptomatic to mild [in bed for a few days], more severe [in bed for a few weeks with postviral syndromes], to hospitalization and intensive care, need for ventilation, and death,” said Dr Fauci.

We hope you enjoy this issue of TON and look forward to your feedback. You can contact us via e-mail at

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