Challenges of Oral Medications in Patients With Advanced Breast Cancer

  • Palmieri F
  • Barton D
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Objectives: To list methods that nurses can use to monitor and ensure compliance with an oral agent for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Data Sources: Published research articles, abstracts, and clinical experience. Conclusion: Oral chemotherapeutic agents offer the advantages of patient control and less interference with administration and, frequently, improved tolerability profiles versus conventional infusion chemotherapy. However, there is the difficulty of ensuring optimal adherence to the treatment plan. Adherence rates for oral chemotherapy vary widely in studies, and can depend on psychological and socioeconomic factors as well as individual patient outcome expectations. Implications for Nursing Practice: Oncology nurses can identify factors influencing adherence to therapy and assess those patients appropriate for oral therapy. Oncology nurses can facilitate follow-up visits, ask appropriate adherence questions, and successfully manage the shift of administration responsibility to the patient. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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  • Frances M. Palmieri

  • Debra L. Barton

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