With multiple treatment options for colorectal cancer, providers have opportunities to tailor therapy to the individual needs of their patients, speakers said during a presentation at JADPRO Live, the Annual APSHO Meeting.
Tammy Triglianos, DNP, ANP-BC, AOCNP, of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Mary B. Morgan, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCN, of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, delivered the presentation titled “Optimizing the Care of Patients with Colorectal Cancer in Clinical Practice.”
Ms. Morgan said it is important to speak with patients and family members to discuss a patient’s treatment goals and understand their concerns about how therapy may impact their quality of life.
“We have to really listen to what they’re saying and pay attention to that, and then navigate through that together to decide what’s the best course for this particular patient at this particular time,” Ms. Morgan said. She explained that it is also critical to explain the risks and benefits of each treatment option to patients, as this will allow them to carefully consider which approach is most in line with their goals and needs.
“As advanced practice providers and nurse practitioners, I think we tend to listen more closely to the patients and their concerns when it comes to those things,” Ms. Morgan said. “Sometimes I’m an integral part in adjusting medications, adjusting doses because of side effects or issues they’re having that are affecting their quality of life.”
Dr. Triglianos emphasized that it’s important to know about a patient’s career, skills, and passions when deciding upon a treatment course for colorectal cancer.
“I’ve had many patients that were musicians… if I’m pushing on oxaliplatin dosing, that could limit their ability to do something they love and enjoy,” she said, noting that it’s important to work on “meeting patients where they are at” to understand risks, benefits, and their care goals.