I am pleased to present the June issue of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON), a journal specifically designed for nurses, navigators, and advanced practice providers who work tirelessly to improve the lives of patients with cancer.
This issue begins with an informative interview with Ludmila Svoboda, RN, BSN, MA, OCN, Nurse Director of the Cancer Care Equity Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA (see here). As part of a team of dedicated professionals, Ms Svoboda is helping to reduce disparities in cancer care outcomes for historically marginalized patient populations through a unique colocation model.
“It is about connecting patients to the vital care they need before a stage I cancer progresses to a stage II or stage III disease. We are trying to build relationships within marginalized communities. We do this by showing up year after year,” she told TON.
Next, we turn our attention to the results of a new survey released by CancerCare, which highlights the valuable role of biomarker testing in personalizing cancer treatment. As noted by the study’s authors, there are several obstacles that must be overcome to make this type of testing available for more patients (see here).
Patricia J. Goldsmith, Chief Executive Officer of CancerCare, explained, “Despite the fact that biomarker testing has dramatically changed the way cancer is diagnosed and treated, many insurers do not provide adequate coverage for the test.”
In this issue of TON, you will also find information on National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week, which will be held this year from June 15 through June 21. The goal of this initiative is to encourage discussions among Black Americans regarding their family health history and the importance of obtaining necessary cancer screenings (see here). As expert communicators, nurses can play a vital role in promoting this year’s campaign by initializing one-on-one discussions with patients and utilizing the free social media toolkit available on the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence website.
Here, we feature findings from a new study conducted at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, Lexington, which showed the benefits of implementing a financial navigation program for patients with cancer and their loved ones. In addition to offsetting some of the direct and indirect costs of care, the study investigators noted that the program helped to lower financially related distress for both patients and their caregivers.
Since June is National Cancer Survivors Month, we have also included highlights from recently published literature on this topic, including the positive impact of nurse-led survivorship programs, the need for more research into the efficacy of peer-to-peer support groups for cancer survivors, and the relationship between long-term financial toxicity and health-related quality of life in partners of patients with cancer (see here).
As in every TON issue, you will also find highlights of key sessions from recent oncology conferences, which discuss the latest safety and efficacy data on new drugs and treatment regimens, as well as important interventions aimed at improving outcomes for patients with cancer.
As always, we hope that you will enjoy this issue of TON, and we invite you to visit www.TheOncologyNurse.com to share your feedback with us. You can also send an e-mail with any questions or comments you may have to info@TheOncologyNurse.com.
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