It is important that nurses talk with their patients about what kind of adverse events to expect while being treated for HER2-positive breast cancer.
When patients with HER2-positive breast cancer know what kind of adverse events to look out for, they tend to have better communication with their healthcare team and, as a result, better compliance and outcomes, according to Madeline Kuiper, MSN, RN, OCN, an oncology nurse practitioner at UCLA.
Unfortunately, there are side effects associated with HER2 therapies, as there are with multiple other types of treatments. But if you can explain that to a patient and help them look for and and understand potential side effects, and actually try to institute practices to mitigate those, patients tend to do much better on therapy, and tend to then commit to their therapy and stay on their therapy consistently. Then we can tend to get long-term therapy in compliance with that. Particularly, my setting is more of a metastatic setting. So I have patients who have been on HER2 therapies for 20 years. And they've done very well because [they're] great drugs, but also because we spend a lot of time going over potential side effects and how to manage them.