Are Hearing Tests Necessary For Adult Cancer Survivors?


In this episode of “The Vitals,” Christine Miaskowski, PhD, RN, discusses research showcasing that adult patients receiving either a platinum-based chemotherapy, taxane alone, or a combined regimen of platinum- and taxane-based treatment may be at risk of hearing loss.

For this episode of The VitalsOncology Nursing News® spoke with Christine Miaskowski, PhD, RN, professor in the Department of Physiological Nursing and Anesthesia at UCSF School of Nursing. Miaskowski discusses results from research which showcases an increased risk of hearing loss among patients who received platinum- or taxane-based cancer treatments. She also discusses the importance of including hearing assessments as a standard of care for survivors.

Episode Highlights

Top takeaways from the discussion include:

“When we did audio metrically confirmed hearing loss [assessments], we found that between 50% to 70% of survivors had confirmed hearing loss.” Timestamp (TS): 04:29

“It’s really, very surprising because it is a group of patients with very common cancers: breast, lung, gynecologic and GI [gastrointestinal] malignancies.” TS 04:59

“The good news is that the type of hearing loss these patients experience is amenable to a hearing aid. So, if we can get people tested, and they demonstrate this kind of hearing loss, we can improve their quality of life.” TS 06:09

“Nurses care about interactions with other people, people’s quality of life, [their] social function… if you've got hearing loss, and you're sitting at a table with people, and you can't hear them, you're not going to be likely to participate.” TS 06:56

“We don’t even think about [some of] these consequences; in terms of occupation, social gatherings, safety for a child… We really, as nurses, need to be doing something about this.” TS 09:10

Episode Notes

The Vitals Podcast:

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Video Interviews


  • Cheung S, Henderson-Sabes J, Mastick J, et al. Cancer survivors and neurotoxic chemotherapy: hearing loss and tinnitus. BMJ Support Palliat Care. Published online July 27, 2022. doi:10.1136/spcare-2022-003684
  • Romano A, Capozza MA, Mastrangelo S, et al. Assessment and management of platinum-related ototoxicity in children treated for cancer. Cancers. 2020;12(5):1266. doi:10.3390/cancers12051266
  • Biro K, Noszek L, Prekopp P, et al. Characteristics and risk factors of cisplatin-induced ototoxicity in testicular cancer patients detected by distortion product otoacoustic emission. Oncology. 2006;70(3):177-184. doi:10.1159/000093776
  • Cheraghi S, Nikoofar P, Fadavi P, et al. Short-term cohort study on sensorineural hearing changes in head and neck radiotherapy. Med Oncol. 2015;32(7):200. doi:10.1007/s12032-015-0646-3
  • Langer T, am Zehnhoff-Dinnesen A, Radtke S, Meitert J, Zolk O. Understanding platinum-induced ototoxicity. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2013;34(8):458-469. doi:10.1016/

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