Oncology Nursing News Top Stories: October 2022

Each month, we take a look back at the most popular Oncology Nursing News® stories. Here are the top 5 stories from October 2022.

Our October 2022 print publication, which is available for download here, features nursing voices from across the breadth of care. One of our newest features, the Oncology Drug Crash Course sheet, provides a helpful overview of an agent approved across multiple indications and details what nurses need to know about adverse effects and any handling nuances. Our Nurse’s Note highlights the importance of mental health resources for oncology nurses and our Advance Practice Provider column demonstrates the value of preceptorship for novice oncology nurse practitioners.

Contributor Debi Fischer takes a unique look at breast cancer awareness. She shows that many individuals may have misconceptions regarding the origin of the movement and argues that oncology nurses should know the history behind the pink ribbon as they may support many people affected by breast cancer.

Lastly, research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that neoadjuvant chemotherapy may play a useful role in helping bridge patients with rectal cancer to organ-sparing excision surgery, a procedure associated with better quality of life and maintained bowel function than total mesorectal excision.

5. Oncology Drug Crash Course: Olaparib (Lynparza)

Kayla Freeman, DNP, APRN, FNP-C; and La-Urshalar Brock, MSN, CNM, FNP-BC, provide an in-depth look at olaparib, including the approved indications and safety considerations, in a downloadable fact sheet.

Olaparib is a potent oral PARP inhibitor which induces synthetic lethality in BRCA1/2 deficient tumor cells through the formation of double-stranded DNA breaks which cannot be accurately repaired, leading to cell death, explain the 2 nurse experts. The drug currently has approved indications in ovarian, breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancer.

4. Oncology Nurses Need Better Resources to Help Patients With Mental Health Problems

Unfortunately, 30% of patients with cancer will develop a mental disorder during the course of their illness. Although oncology nurses are trained to show empathy and offer support to their patients across the care continuum, it is often insufficient and more resources are needed to adequately care for patients with acute mental health problems, Stephanie Jackson, DNP, MSN, RN, AOCNS, BMTCN, writes.

3. Supporting the Novice Oncology NP: The Benefits of Preceptorship

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners predicts that over 36,000 nurses achieved their nurse practitioners’ certifications in 2019 and 2020, and the number of individuals continuing to earn their nurse practitioner credentials are expected to continue to grow.

In this feature, Precious Ferguson, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, discusses the specialized training and education that novice oncology nurse practitioners need and how structuredpreceptorships help promote competence, confidence, and job satisfaction in this setting.

2. Opinion: Oncology Nurses Should Know the History of the Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon

Breast cancer awareness has been in the spotlight for many years now, but many may not know about the movement’s origins. In this opinion piece, contributor Debi Fischer, MSW, BSN, BA, LCSW, RN, offers a different perspective into breast cancer awareness month by discussing the advocacy work of Charlotte Hale, a Simi Valley housewife who is credited with handing out the first breast cancer awareness ribbons. Notably, the ribbons that she handed out were peach, not pink.

1. Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Makes Organ-Sparing Surgery More Accessible for Patients With Rectal Cancer

For many patients with early-stage I/IIA rectal cancer, 3 months of neoadjuvant chemotherapy significantly downstage their tumors and made organ-sparing excision surgery possible—allowing these patients to maintain their quality of life and bowel function.