Quality-of-Life Considerations With Taxane-Based Therapy in Metastatic Breast Cancer

Cathy Maxwell

metastasis, breast cancer, breast cancer care, quality of life, peripheral neuropathies
CJON 2013, 17(1), 35-40. DOI: 10.1188/13.CJON.S1.35-40

As with many other types of chemotherapy, taxanes are associated with side effects that can affect patients' quality of life. One of the major side effects of taxane therapy is taxane-induced peripheral neuropathy (TIPN). The development of TIPN is accompanied by troublesome burning, tingling, and numbness; TIPN also can affect patient safety because of the decreased ability to perceive sensations (e.g., pain, heat). Pain and fatigue are common side effects of taxane therapy. These particular symptoms may hinder patients from working or performing daily activities, thus affecting quality of life. This case vignette provides an example of the symptoms that can accompany taxane therapy, including TIPN. The case vignette also demonstrates the long-lasting effects that TIPN can have on patients receiving taxane-based therapy, as well as the hindrance to the ability to work and perform daily activities because of numbness, pain, and fatigue. In addition, identification and management of taxane-related side effects are explored from the nursing perspective, and important aspects of patient education are discussed.

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