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Multiple Myeloma

Caregivers Can Help Patients Take Their Oral Oncolytics as Prescribed

For decades, cancer treatment for patients with multiple myeloma meant going to facilities that provide intravenous infusion therapies. Although these therapies are beneficial from a treatment perspective, traveling to facilities to receive them steals away valuable time that patients and their loved ones may prefer to spend at home or visiting friends.
February 2016 Vol 2 No 1
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
Co-Founder, Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators® (AONN+)
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship®
University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer
Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Co-Developer, Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work
Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions
Breast cancer survivor

For decades, cancer treatment for patients with multiple myeloma meant going to facilities that provide intravenous infusion therapies. Although these therapies are beneficial from a treatment perspective, traveling to facilities to receive them steals away valuable time that patients and their loved ones may prefer to spend at home or visiting friends.

This is why it is exciting to witness the development of oral cancer therapies, which allow patients with multiple myeloma to take their medication in the comfort of their homes. Although convenient and can help to maximize patients’ quality time, oral medications have their pitfalls, one of which includes the added responsibility of taking the medication exactly as prescribed.

Not taking medications as prescribed is common among patients with cancer. Whether it is because patients or their loved ones perceive that the medication is not effective, the side effects are impairing the desire to be compliant, or forgetfulness results in missed doses, if the patient does not take the medication exactly as prescribed, the benefit from the treatment will be reduced. After all, the mission is to treat the cancer all the time, not only some of the time.

This special feature provides great insight as to why patients may not be taking their medications as instructed and the steps caregivers can take to overcome nonadherence to oral cancer therapies. These tips and wisdom can have a significant impact on patient outcomes. By reading this special issue, patients and their caregivers can use this information to help patients with multiple myeloma stay on track with their oral medications, and enjoy the time saved from sitting in an intravenous infusion chair, while still getting the medications they need. 

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Last modified: March 11, 2021

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