This CE activity was originally published in The Rx Consultant. If you received credit for it previously, you cannot receive credit for it again.
With breast cancer so often in the news, it is easy to forget that the diagnosis is an emotional and life-changing event for an individual patient. In the United States (US), an estimated 231,840 women and 2,350 men1 were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2015. One in every 8 women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. In contrast, a man’s lifetime risk is about 1 in 1000. Following skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women. During recent years, the incidence of breast cancer has been stable for Caucasian women; however, it has increased slightly for African-American women, due in part to longer life expectancy and improved screening and detection. Because of earlier detection and improved treatment, the death rate for breast cancer in the US has declined since 19891; however, it is still the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. In 2015, an estimated 40,290 women will die from breast cancer.
Over the past decade, the treatment options for breast cancer have expanded, especially for advanced disease. One area of progress that has made an impact in the community setting is the development of new oral medications for advanced disease.
This issue provides an overview of breast cancer in women, with a focus on the use of newer, oral agents for the treatment of advanced disease. Along with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormonal (anti-estrogen) therapy, the use of targeted agents has become routine in the fight against breast cancer. Healthcare providers, including pharmacists, have an obligation to be well informed about these agents – especially the oral drugs – in order to adequately support patients in the community setting.
- Pharmacists, Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Registered Nurses
CE activities for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians:
This continuing education (CE) activity meets the requirements of all state boards of pharmacy for approved continuing education hours. CE credit is automatically reported to CPE Monitor.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for formally approved continuing education (CE) hours, and CE hours of pharmacotherapeutics.
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) for acceptable, accredited CE.
- The ANCC requires all advanced practice nursing certificants (CNSs and NPs) to complete 25 CE hours of pharmacotherapeutics as a portion of the required 75 continuing education hours.
- Pharmacology CE is recommended by the AANPCP and will be required for Certificants renewing certification starting January 2017.
- Most State Boards of Nursing require a minimum number of pharmacy contact hours to renew an advanced practice license.
Requirements for CE Credit
- Review the risk factors, screening, and staging for breast cancer. Discuss the importance of hormone receptors and HER2 protein status.
- Review the roles of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and hormonal therapy in breast cancer treatment by stage. Review treatment for risk reduction.
- List 4 classes of hormonal agents and review their adverse effects. Name the drug(s) in each class and state their indications and recommended dosages.
- Review the indications, dosages, adverse effects, and precautions for the 3 oral targeted drugs and 1 oral chemotherapy agent. Counsel patients about taking them properly.
Ashton Hullett, PharmD
Brief Bio : Clinical Pharmacist (Oncology), NorthShore University HealthSystem Kellogg Cancer Center;
Disclosure : Dr. Ashton Hullett,report no financial or personal relationship with any commercial interest producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing a product or service that appears in this issue.
Cheryl Jee, PharmD, BCOP
Brief Bio : Oncology Pharmacist, NorthShore University HealthSystem Kellogg Outpatient Pharmacy.
Disclosure : Dr. Cheryl Jee,report no financial or personal relationship with any commercial interest producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing a product or service that appears in this issue.
Kathryn Schiavo, PharmD
Brief Bio : Kathryn Schiavo, PharmD, Pharmacy Manager for the NorthShore University HealthSystem Kellogg Outpatient Pharmacy in Illinois.
Disclosure : Dr.Kathryn Schiavo reports no financial or personal relationship with any commercial interest producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing a product or service that appears in this issue.