Addiction in patients with cancer is not well described. Patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) and cancer experience worse outcomes; however, no guidelines exist for identifying and successfully managing these issues in oncology. With the goal to improve patient safety and outcomes, an interprofessional work group at a major academic cancer hospital initiated a trial screening process for identifying substance abuse issues in an oncology population. Simultaneously, guidelines for patients with cancer and SUDs were created.
AT A GLANCE
- Substance use contributes to adverse outcomes; however, addiction is not well studied in the oncology population.
- An interprofessional team approach improves identification and customized management of patients with coexisting cancer and SUDs.
- Substance use assessment and screening is necessary for the implementation of patient-centered harm-reduction interventions.