The Patient Journey in Prostate Cancer: Key Points for Nurses
The optimal care pathway for patients with prostate cancer (PCa) should be multidisciplinary and multi-professional. Nurses from a variety of disciplines (e.g. medical oncology, urology, radiation oncology) should be implicated in educating patients and guiding patient care across the broad spectrum of available treatments.
For this purpose, nurses involved in managing PCa patients should be educated about the different treatments and their possible adverse events. Most PCa are slow-growing indolent tumours that will be best managed by active surveillance. Nurses play an important role in reassuring and empowering the patient in that process. Localised disease is best treated by surgery and/or radiotherapy, each offering a different philosophical approach. Nurses play a central role in guiding the patient in the difficult decision of the treatment choice. They will be the guardian of a shared decision-making and protect the principle of equipoise by involving patients in the treatment choices. Advanced PCa, at its various stages of progression, is most often treated by hormonal therapy. Hormone therapy does not eradicate PCa but rather switches it to a more chronic state. This means that the patients will be treated for an extended period of time. Hormone therapy may profoundly affect various emotional and physical aspects of the patients and severely impacts its well-being. Countermeasures are known but rarely explained to patients. Nurses are ideally positioned to provide treatment information, education and self-management recommendations regarding side effects and symptom management. According to these numerous treatments, all nurses will be there to provide emotional and psychological support regarding patient’s coping process which will improve adherence in his treatment plan.
KeywordsProstate cancer Prevention Risk factor Treatments Side effects Education Adherence
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