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Metastatic Breast Cancer Epidemiology and Management With a Focus on Taxanes

Diana Donovan
CJON 2013, 17(1), 5-8 DOI: 10.1188/13.CJON.S1.5-8

Although considerable treatment advances have been made since the early 2000s, metastatic breast cancer (MBC) continues to provide challenges for patients and healthcare providers. The responsibilities of nurses regarding the management of MBC are extensive. Among other things, nurses must provide patient education, understand treatment administration, and have the ability to perform patient assessments, as well as identify and manage symptoms. The taxanes paclitaxel, docetaxel, and nab-paclitaxel are a class of microtubule-stabilizing agents that are highly active against MBC but have many differences among them (e.g., formulation, administration, efficacy, tolerability profiles). Understanding those differences will aid in improving the overall patient experience. This supplement provides a historical overview of taxanes, examines the differences in their administration, and defines their efficacy and safety profiles and effects on patient quality of life. In addition, methods for assessing taxane-induced neuropathy are discussed from the nursing perspective, and treatment considerations for older adult patients with MBC are provided.

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