It’s been more than a decade since the Institute of Medicine recommended that all cancer survivors receive survivorship care plans, yet many patients still do not receive them. Transitioning out of active cancer treatment can be nerve-racking for many people, but oncology nurses can help by bringing up survivorship care plans early and often with their patients, as well as helping them navigate the often-confusing healthcare system when they are ready to return to their primary care physicians. We explore this important topic in our cover story, “Cancer Survivorship: Right-Sizing Care.”
After treatment, many survivors also develop anxiety around their cancer coming back. This fear of recurrence can be debilitating for people who experience it, and it can have major psychosocial implications. In this issue’s Nurse’s Note, editor in chief Deborah A. Boyle, MSN, RN, AOCNS, FAAN, tackles this important topic, which is all too prevalent in the cancer community. Boyle offers tips that nurses can pass on to patients, and she stresses the importance of bringing up the subject. Even if patients don’t broach the topic themselves, it may still be top of mind.
Our 2 Partner Perspectives also touch on how nurses can aid patients who are experiencing stress and anxiety. One, from our partners at CancerCare, focuses on cancer as trauma, because a diagnosis can definitely qualify as a traumatizing and life-changing event. The other, from Cancer Support Community, focuses on tools, resources, and coping mechanisms that nurses can offer patients facing psychosocial distress.
Also in this issue, our Continuing Education section features updates from the 3rd Annual School of Nursing Oncology ConferenceTM, hosted by Physicians’ Education Resource®, LLC, which covered everything nursing professionals need to know, from tumor type basics to adverse event management.
I hope this issue of Oncology Nursing News® is enjoyable and helps nurses better help their patients.
As always, thanks for reading.