More than 75% of Canadians have had a personal connection with cancer. Whether through their own diagnosis or that of a family member, friend, or colleague, cancer is a disease that touches all of our lives.
In the past, cancer treatment was mainly managed between a doctor and the patient. As treatments have advanced, patient care can now be managed by a team of healthcare providers, including the primary care doctor, oncology nurse, oncologist, home care provider, social worker, and pharmacist.
As the most accessible health care provider, pharmacists play an evolving role in cancer treatment care through screening and prevention, optimizing medicinal therapies, and providing patient support.
Pharmacists can provide support to patients in terms of screening and prevention through routine consultations. The pharmacist can work with the patient to promote a healthy lifestyle, provide advice on weight management and alcohol consumption, and create plans to quit smoking.
As a member of a patient’s health care team, the pharmacist can also provide referrals to appropriate health care providers.
Pharmacists can assist patients living with cancer by performing medication reviews in order to identify possible drug interactions with other medications that are being taken and monitor any side effects. Pharmacists can also modify medication dosages, facilitate access to medications, and increase adherence.
It is important that health care teams work collaboratively to facilitate care to patients living with cancer. Pharmacists can consult with health care teams to assess and counsel patients through their treatment journey.
Patient education is vital to effective cancer treatment. The pharmacist can educate patients and personal caregivers on dosage instructions, proper handling and storage of medications, and waste disposal.
Cancer is a disease that usually affects Canadians aged 50 and older, but the diagnosis can come at any age. If you or a loved one is concerned about your risk of developing cancer or have questions about cancer treatment, speak to your Remedy’sRx pharmacist. We are here to provide you with prevention advice or to work with your health care team to support your treatment journey.
The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your pharmacist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.