This special feature provides information for patients about oral medications for the treatment of multiple myeloma. The main article discusses the progress that has been made in the treatment of multiple myeloma, transitioning from a disease that is being treated with intravenous medications to now having a variety of oral medications available. In addition, an oncology nurse navigator provides her perspective about this condition and emphasizes practical tips to help patients take their medications as prescribed. Finally, and perhaps most important, is the commentary from a patient with multiple myeloma who provides his perspective for patients.
When oral medications for the treatment of cancer became available, oncology providers and their patients were enthusiastic. The feeling was that finally there was a way for patients to preserve and control their personal time, by no longer needing to sit in an infusion chair for hours; instead, they could self-administer their medications by taking them in a pill form. This was exciting news, until the realization that oncologists no longer had a way of ensuring that their patients were actually taking their medications as prescribed.
This special feature provides insight into the primary barriers that cause patients not to comply with their medication schedule or not take their oral medications exactly as prescribed. Read about the importance of good communication between healthcare providers and their patients who are prescribed oral medications to take at home. Learn about the many barriers to patient adherence, and how to overcome these potential obstacles.
As oncology providers, in addition to managing the cancer, we must go beyond the patient’s physical health to also recognize and treat the patient’s emotional well-being, financial health, and psychological needs. These factors play an important role in whether patients consistently take their oral medications as prescribed. By reading this special issue, patients and their providers will gain a wealth of new knowledge that will help patients with multiple myeloma stay on track with their oral medications to improve the management of their disease.