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Provider-patient relations – Notes from the Editor in Chief

Published March 13, 2015


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Our work in oncology is focused on the patients we treat. There is nothing new about that. However, the patient we see today is both prepared and required to assume a far more important role in their care than before. Patients are better informed thanks to the Internet, and the conversations we have around treatment decisions are much more sophisticated. Knowledgeable and demanding patients help us improve safety by playing an active role in monitoring and managing their care.

The cancer care system is placing much greater demands on the patient, who must negotiate access to a variety of facilities and manage relationships with numerous care providers, as well as assume a greater burden of care at home.

The meeting of the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (CANO) held in October focused on the theme of patient engagement. This issue of Oncology Exchange features a comment from Karen Perry, Director-at-large for Education at CANO, on how patient engagement is being integrated into cancer nursing efforts. Research on how the nurse navigator role in supports patients to negotiate the system is presented in the Landmarks section.

Bringing care closer to home for patients in this large country has been a priority for many years, only it remains difficult to attract oncologists in sufficient number to assure quality care in less-populated regions. We are privileged to include a rare in-depth look at the realities of community oncology, put together by community oncologists from 6 provinces. They describe how practice differs from academic centres and propose an exemplary model of community oncology practice.

Important new studies in hematologic cancer, breast cancer and radiology are reported in the Landmarks section. Drs. Carolyn Owen and Douglas Stewart from Alberta bring us reports from the American Society of Hematology meeting, including new study results in Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Dr. Jamil Asselah from the McGill University Health centre in Montreal coordinated extensive coverage of phase 2 and 3 trial presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December. Dr. Ewa Szumacher from Toronto contributes an important update on results with trimodality therapy for invasive bladder cancer, presented at the last meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

Happy Reading!

Jean A. Maroun, MD
Editor in Chief

Download PDF of this article from Oncology Exchange Magazine