Log in

News Blog

<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 
  • November 23, 2022 5:13 PM | Anonymous

    Karen Kane McDonnell PhD, RN, Associate Professor, Co-Director, Cancer Survivorship Research Center; Amanda R. Bennett MSN, RN, PhD Student; & Vera Bratnichenko MSN, RN, PhD Student; College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, United States

    November brings awareness to individuals living with lung cancer and their family members and friends. Regardless of the prognosis, a diagnosis of lung cancer creates substantial physical, emotional, and financial challenges on individuals, families, communities, health systems, and countries. Lung cancer continues to be the most common cancer type and the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Around the globe, the general cancer burden is high and increasing.The highest incidence rates of lung cancer are observed in parts of North America, in East Asia, and in parts of central and eastern Europe.

    There is good news which fosters HOPE! The number of new lung cancer diagnoses is declining steadily in some countries. The American Cancer Society describes trends in cancer death rates as the best measure of progress against cancer. In the United States, lung cancer death rates declined by 56% since 1990 in men and 32% since 2002 in women. These improvements in lung cancer survival are due to declines in cigarette smoking and advances in early detection and treatments, mostly for non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) the more common classification of lung cancer (NSCLC; 82%).2 In recent years, more individuals with lung cancer are being diagnosed when the cancer is at an early stage and living longer as a result. The rate of localized-stage disease diagnoses increased by 4.5% yearly from 2014 to 2018, while there were steep declines in advanced disease diagnoses. The result was an overall increase in 3-year survival rates (from 21% to 31%).

    It is widely accepted that the major cause of lung cancer is tobacco smoking, which is responsible for 80–85% of lung cancer cases worldwide. The World Health Organization describes tobacco use as a global epidemic. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals and at least 69 carcinogens, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, and benzene. About 8 out of 10 (81%) deaths from lung cancer are expected to be caused from smoking cigarettes. Both the amount and how long someone smokes increase the risk of dying from lung cancer. People who smoke are about 25 times more likely to develop lung cancer than those who never smoked. Second-hand smoke causes almost 3% of new diagnoses of lung cancer and is expected to cause about 3% of deaths. After smoking, the next leading cause of lung cancer is exposure to radon gas, which is released from soil and can build up indoors. Relative to the hazards of smoking cigarettes and cigars, the full hazard profile presented by electronic nicotine delivery systems (NEDS) and by cannabis smoking are largely unknown at this time.
    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the most common smoking-related illness in the world and the most common co-morbidity for persons with lung cancer. Even though, it is well established that COPD is associated with the risk of lung cancer it is often under-emphasized as a comorbidity for those with lung cancer. Clinically, the co-existence of lung cancer and COPD can have a dramatic impact on the patient’s quality of life (QOL) and survival.

    Optimal treatment of concurrent lung cancer and COPD is crucial to the success of lung cancer therapy. Oncology and advanced practice nurses can play an essential role in these patients’ care, which requires early and close attention to prevention, assessment, treatment, and surveillance of both diseases, related symptomatology, and lifestyle behaviors. Patients with lung cancer and COPD benefit from a multidisciplinary disease management approach throughout their illnesses to ensure maximum QOL and functional status. In collaboration with a team that includes pulmonologists and oncology physicians, oncology nurses can help improve these patients’ health outcomes using pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments and symptom management. More clinical research is needed to expand our understanding of the management of patients with this twofold disease burden, to increase the use of existing evidence-based interventions, and to develop, and test new QOL-boosting interventions.

    The outlook is more promising than ever for individuals with lung cancer at all stages of disease with and without COPD. Around the world, nurses who care for persons with a history or current diagnosis of lung cancer can make a positive impact. The Position Statement on Cancer Nursing’s Potential to Reduce the Growing Burden of Cancer Across the World describes nurses as “essential” to cancer control.6 The Call to Action is clear. It is our role as nurses to reduce the global burden of cancer across the cancer trajectory. 
  • October 26, 2022 5:20 PM | Leya Duigu (Administrator)

    Present your research to an international audience of best-in-class supportive cancer care professionals.

    Abstracts on a wide range of supportive care topics are welcome, particularly those relating to our 2023 meeting themes:

    • Overall Theme: Interdisciplinary Nature of Supportive Cancer Care
    • Robotics and Digital Medicine
    • Disparities in the Availability of Supportive Care
    • When Evidence-Based Medicine Meets Traditional Medicine
    • Sessions on the Various MASCC/JASCC/ISOO Study Group Topics

    We encourage submissions from both new and experienced researchers. A number of awards and scholarships are available to qualifying first authors.


    December 21, 2022 3pm EST (for submissions which include a Conference Scholarship application)

    January 11, 2023 3pm EST (for all other submissions, including all other awards and scholarships)

    Learn more here: mascc.org/annualmeeting2023/abstracts/

  • October 20, 2022 9:34 PM | Leya Duigu (Administrator)

    Invited by City Cancer Challenge, Prof Patsy Yates, past president of ISNCC, represented ISNCC to be one of the ASCO-C/Can Global External Panel of Experts for the implementation of the ASCO Multidisciplinary Cancer Management Course (MCMC) in Greater Petaling, Malaysia. The course focused on using multidisciplinary team care and guidelines for breast cancer to help healthcare professionals in Greater Petaling to address local gaps in cancer care. The course was successfully conducted on 17th to 19th September 2022. 

  • October 01, 2022 9:38 AM | Leya Duigu (Administrator)

    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer globally and the leading cause of cancer death among women. WHO Global Breast Cancer Initiative aims to reduce global breast cancer mortality by 2.5% per year, averting 2.5 million cancer deaths globally by 2040.

    Early diagnosis is key to reducing mortality. The International Society for Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) is the proud recipient of a UICC grant for the early detection of breast cancer. ISNCC is using the grant funding to facilitate train-the-trainer initiatives and working with nurse leaders across Africa to educate ground nurses in the region on early diagnosis of breast cancer including health awareness messages and clinical breast examination. The goal is to maximize contributions of nurses, the biggest healthcare provider, to reduce cancer burden and mortality.

    Union For International Cancer Control Initiatives

    The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is raising awareness of Breast Cancer through Pink October this month. Learn more about their initiatives including the launch of a Master Course on “Good practices for planning and implementing breast cancer projects” on the UICC Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign Page.

    As a proud member of UICC, ISNCC would like to encourage our community to help raise awareness of breast health and the importance of screening for the early diagnosis of breast cancer. As the largest component of the health workforce, nurses across the world play an important role in breast cancer management, including in the critical area of early diagnosis.

  • July 12, 2022 11:39 AM | Leya Duigu (Administrator)

    The ISNCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce the release of the Society’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. The plan continues ISNCC’s long tradition as the global leader in cancer nursing and reconfirms our commitment to the identification, engagement, and development of nurses across the world as essential health care providers in cancer care and control.

    The 2022-2025 Strategic Plan includes the following strategic directions:

    • Build and strengthen the cancer nursing workforce across the world
    • Influence global health policy
    • Advance and apply knowledge
    • Leverage partnerships with members and global citizens

    Each direction is associated with a range of key activities that will enable ISNCC to achieve its mission to lead the global nursing community to reduce the burden of cancer.

    Open ISNCC 2022-2025 Strategic Plan
  • July 01, 2022 11:36 AM | Leya Duigu (Administrator)

    Professor Winnie So, BN, MHA, Ph.D., FAAN, will commences her four-year term as President of ISNCC from July 1st, 2022. Winne is a Professor at the Nethersole School of Nursing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a Visiting Professor at the School of Nursing, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Winnie’s research interest focuses on cancer and palliative care, especially in relation to cancer prevention and early detection of cancer, supportive care needs, symptom experience, and quality of life of cancer patients. She has published over 170 papers in peer-reviewed journals and delivered more than 110 invited presentations/lectures at national/international conferences, workshops, research institutes, and universities. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing and an Associate Editor of Cancer Nursing.

  • July 01, 2022 11:33 AM | Leya Duigu (Administrator)

    The ISNCC Nominations and Awards Committee is pleased to announce outcomes for election to three vacant Board of Director Portfolio positions.

    Corporate & Philanthropic Development Portfolio: Josephine Visser RN, BSN, OCN
    Joanne is currently Oncology Clinical Territory Manager, Takeda Oncology, USA. She has extensive professional experience in a range of clinical and education roles. She has been an active member of the Oncology Nursing Society in the USA, contributing to a number of projects and committee roles. Joanne has been a member of the Corporate and Philanthropic Committee of ISNCC since 2019. She has been an active member with participation and bringing ideas/suggestions to assist with the goals of the strategic plan of the committee.

    Knowledge Development & Dissemination Portfolio: Meinir Krishnasamy, B.A.(Hons), RGN, Master of Advanced Clinical Practice (Cancer Nursing), PhD
    Meinir is currently Director, Academic Nursing Unit, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Research and Education Lead - Nursing, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Alliance, and Professor of Cancer Nursing, University of Melbourne. She has made significant contributions to cancer nursing over the past 30 years including being a long standing and active member of ISNCC, contributing to and participating in the International Conference on Cancer. More recently, Meinir has been a member of ISNCC’s Policy and Advocacy Committee.

    Member Development Portfolio: Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, PhD, ANP-BC, AOCNP®, CGNC®, FAAN
    Lisa is currently Global Nurse Consultant and Oncology Nurse Practitioner, St. Joseph Hospital. She has more than four decades as a registered oncology nurse and certified nurse practitioner, and experience as a tenured faculty, consultant and author. Lisa is a longtime member of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) in the USA and has held positions on ONS research advisory panels. She was the first ONS Chief Clinical Officer. Lisa is also a longtime member of ISNCC and currently serves as an author mentor for Cancer Nursing.

    The three successful candidates will take up their Board positions for a four-year term from July 1st, 2022. They join other continuing members of the Board, including:

    • Winnie So, President (from 1st July 2022)
    • Linda Watson, Secretary/Treasurer
    • Patsy Yates, Past President (from 1st July 2022)
    • Suzanne Bishaw, Conference Management Portfolio
    • Julia Downing, Policy and Advocacy Portfolio
    • Yongyi Chen, Communications Portfolio

    I would also like to thank outgoing board members, Raymond Chan, Andrew Dimech, and Scarlott Mueller, for their outstanding contribution to the Board over the past four years.

  • June 16, 2022 3:32 AM | Anonymous

    AUTHORS: Margaret I Fitch RN PhD, Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
    Christopher J Longo PhD, Health Policy and Management, DeGroote School of Business, MacMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

    Cancer and its treatments have many impacts and leave individuals and families coping with a range of challenges. One of the challenges we are understanding more about is financial toxicity. The term reflects both hardship and distress arising from the financial burden experienced during and following cancer treatment.

    Initially, exploration of financial impact following a cancer diagnosis only focused on calculating costs of treatments. Investigations then moved on to explore the amount of ‘out-of-pocket’ costs which patients incurred. These are defined as expenses not covered by the healthcare system or reimbursed through health insurance. They can include costs for hospital bills, medications, supplies, counselling, transportation, and parking. These objective measures failed to capture the extent and complexity of the financial impact. More recently, subjective measures concerning distress and impact on quality of living have been explored.

    Almost all people diagnosed with cancer will report having added expenses. Cancer patients/survivors report there are often “out-of-pocket” expenses they must pay themselves related to having cancer and being treated. The actual amounts vary from country to country but exist regardless of the type of healthcare system coverage in a country (i.e., public, private. combination).

    Many individuals also report a loss of income which they attribute to cancer. Many who are working at the time of diagnosis report not being able to work for a time. This can also apply to family members. Some individuals will be covered by work leave or sick coverage plans, but this will vary from person to person. Those who are self-employed often face significant challenges if they are unable to work, as do those in fixed incomes. Additionally, whether an individual has private insurance coverage will influence the amount of income lost.  

    Patients use a variety of strategies to deal with the financial demands: using savings, reducing spending, forgoing leisure activities, or setting aside plans for items such as vacations, education, and home renovations. In some instances, they forgo medical care or medications.

    The emotional distress engendered by financial burden varies from person to person. The extent of this strain is linked to such factors as financial status at the time of diagnosis, financial acumen, having insurance coverage, and ability to access financial support programs.

     It is important that a conversation occur soon after diagnosis about the potential for financial burden. Patients need to be prepared for the financial impact and not taken by surprise. They need to know what resources are available to them. Some will have sufficient resources of their own and be able to manage without additional intervention, but others will benefit from additional assistance. The role of financial navigators has been implemented successfully in some cancer programs. 

    Screening for distress surrounding financial toxicity should be incorporated into routine practice. Often the financial impact emerges during treatment and may continue long after treatment has finished. It is important to identify those who would benefit from intervention as early as possible so that effects can be mitigated.  

    Selected References

    • Fitch MI, Sharp L, Hanly P, Longo CJ. Experiencing financial toxicity associated with cancer in publicly funded healthcare systems: A systematic review of qualitative studies [e-pub ahead of print]. J Cancer Surviv. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11764-021-01025-7.
    • Fitch MI, Longo CJ, Chan RJ. Cancer patients’ perspectives on financial burden in a universal healthcare system: analysis of qualitative data from participants from 20 provincial cancer centres in Canada. Patient Educ Counsel. 2021;104:903–910. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. pec.2020.08.013.
    • Longo CJ.  Linking Intermediate to Final “Real-World” Outcomes: Is Financial Toxicity a Reliable Predictor of Poorer Outcomes in Cancer? Curr Oncol. 2022; 29: 2483–2489. https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29040202
    • Longo CJ, Fitch MI, Banfield L, Hanly P, Yabroff KR, Sharp L. Financial toxicity associated with a cancer diagnosis in publicly funded healthcare countries: a systematic review. Support Care Cancer. 2020;28(10):4645–65. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-020-05620-9 Epub 2020 Jul 11 32653957.

    This study was presented at ICCN2022 virtual conference.

    Registration for ICCN2022 virtual library now open. For more information, please access https://www.iccn2022.com/registration/

  • June 16, 2022 3:31 AM | Anonymous

    Marie Goretti Uwayezu RN MScN1
    Bellancille Nikuze RN MScN1
    Emile Munyembaraga RN MScN1
    Margaret I Fitch RN PhD1,2,3

    1Scholl of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda
    2Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto Canada
    3School of Nursing, New York University, New York, USA

    The burden of cancer is increasing around the world with almost three-quarters of this burden expected to occur in middle- and low-income countries. The incidence is expected to double by 2050 in some Sub-Sahara African countries (Fidler et al., 2018). Rwanda lies at the heart of East Africa and has about 12.8 million inhabitants. Eighty-three percent live rurally in nuclear family compounds. The country can be held up as a model for how a resource-limited country can build a strong health care system.

    The Rwandan health care system is a decentralized and multilayered system with specialized centres for some diseases. Cancer is one such specialty which is growing in terms of infrastructure and human resources. As of 2021 an estimated 10,704 new cancer cases were diagnosed annually and 7662 deaths occurred. The most frequent female cancer was cervical (12.2%) and for males was prostate (15.6%). Cancer surgery is available in district hospitals while chemotherapy and radiation treatment are available in selected specialty programs. Like other African countries, people face challenges in accessing diagnosis and treatment for cancer including lack of specialty centres close to home; transportation to screening, diagnosis and treatment facilities; financial concerns; and pain and symptom management. As a result many face a late diagnosis (Stage 3 or 4).

    Rwanda has shown leadership for cancer control. A national five-year plan for cancer control exists as well as a comprehensive prevention program for HPV vaccination and clearly articulated palliative care policy, guidelines, and standards. The country launched its own morphine production and distribution program to meet the needs for pain management in palliative patients.

    Advanced nursing and midwifery education was established in 1996 at the Kigali Health Institute with opportunities for advanced diploma, bachelor and master’s preparation. In 2007, five Schools of Nursing were established which, in 2013, were joined through a Ministry of Health initiative under the University of Rwanda. In 2015, a two-year Masters of Science Program was started with eight specialty tracks including Oncology Nursing. The other tracks were Critical Care and Trauma; Nephrology; Pediatrics; Neonatal; Perioperative; Medical-Surgical; and Education, Leadership and Management.

    The Oncology Nursing Stream is a four-semester program and offers education for nurses across cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care of both adults and children. End-of-life care, psychosocial care and cancer rehabilitation topics are incorporated. A thesis is required, and clinical practice components occurs in several hospital, clinic, and home settings.

    To date, three cohorts have graduated, and the 4th and 5th are enrolled. Graduates are assuming clinical and leadership roles in their respective health care facilities as well as faculty positions in Schools of Nursing. Additionally, they are beginning to publish their research and offer presentations at international conferences. The program is building capacity for oncology nursing in the country.


    • Fidler MM, Bray F, Soerjomataram I. The global cancer burden and human development: A review. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 2018; 46: 27–36.
    • Uwayezu, M.G., Nizure, B., & Fitch, M.I. (2020). Oncology Nursing Education: Looking Back, Looking Forwards and Rwanda’s Perspective. eCancer Journal, 14,1079.  https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2020.1079
    • Uwayezu, M.G., Nikuze, B., Fitch, M.I (2020). A Focus on Cancer Care and the Nursing Role in Rwanda. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 30(3),  223-226.

    This study was presented at ICCN2022 virtual conference.

    Registration for ICCN2022 virtual library now open. For more information, please access https://www.iccn2022.com/registration/

  • June 16, 2022 3:16 AM | Anonymous

    Author: LING Cheuk Chi Gigi (RN, PhD), The Nethersole School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

    Throwback to a few years ago, a poll in UK revealed that persons over 50 are more terrified of developing dementia or getting cancer than other chronic illnesses (“Older people are more scared of”, 2014). Meanwhile, living and dying with comorbid cancer and dementia becomes increasingly prominent with the ageing population (McWilliams et al., 2018).

    Family caregivers often devote a considerable time and effort in providing physical and psychosocial care to their loved ones during the end-of-life.  Providing end-of-life care for persons with either dementia or cancer is well-known to be a stressful and burdensome experience (Secinti et al., 2021). The comorbidity of cancer and dementia might further amplify the intricacies of the end-of-life caregiving experience when the person’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioural aspects are affected altogether at the same time by both illnesses. Understanding the unique struggles encountered by this specific group of family caregivers is essential to provide information in the development of nursing interventions to effectively support both the persons with comorbidity and their family caregivers. Nonetheless, limited studies have acknowledged this unique family caregiving experience.

    In view of this, an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was employed to examine the unique end-of-life caregiving experience among family caregivers of persons with comorbid dementia and cancer (PwDnC). Twenty-one family caregivers of deceased PwDnC with diverse backgrounds and characteristics were recruited purposefully from a palliative care unit in Hong Kong. A total of eighteen semi-structured interviews were done as some caregivers in the same family were interviewed together. The audio recordings were then transcribed and analyzed in accord with the principles of IPA. This study yielded a high volume of information. The findings shared below is only part of the data set that mainly focus on the unique internal struggles that encountered by the family caregivers of PwDnC.

    A main theme of unconfirmable silent suffering is unveiled with two subthemes that capture family caregivers’ internal conflict and perception towards the pain of their loved ones: (1) uncertain silent of dementia and (2) undoubted suffering of cancer. Family caregivers in this study believed cancer was the origin of noxious and yet their loved ones could not express their cancer pain due to the unexpressive nature of dementia. These two fallacious beliefs collided when dementia met cancer and ascribed to a sense of silent suffering and worries in family caregivers of PwDnC. On one hand, family caregivers worried their loved ones were suffering silently. On the other hand, family caregivers were also suffering from their own uncontrollable worries, which resulted in their immobilization and helplessness in providing care and management symptoms.

    These findings give voice to the family caregivers and acknowledge the intricacy of family caregiving in the context of comorbid cancer and dementia. From the findings, we could see that the cancer diagnosis, the grave prognosis, and the possible interactions of all the new and preexisting signs and symptoms might increase family caregivers’ sense of uncertainty and resulting in impertinent worries regarding cancer pain. Taking account of the diversity of family caregivers, careful considerations is needed to develop appropriate assessment and relevant education for this unique group of family caregivers to reduce the ambiguity and uncertainty of caregiving. Further research is suggested to better understand the impact of perceived silent suffering to enable healthcare professionals and family caregivers to provide better care and symptoms management for persons with comorbid cancer and dementia.

    All in all, family caregivers suffered not because of the heavy burden of caregiving, but because they loved and cared about their loved ones.

    Chinese ink on rice paperImage: Captured through my lens: Suffered from your Pain. Chinese ink on rice paper

    Inspired by the data, I created this Chinese Calligraphy during data analysis in 2020. It represents the interpretation and perception of reciprocal suffering through love and caregiving.


    • Older people are more scared of dementia than cancer, poll finds. (2014, August 4). The Telegraph.      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/elder/11008905/Older-people-are-more-scared-of-dementia-than-cancer-poll-finds.html
    • McWilliams, L., Farrell, C., Grande, G., Keady, J., Swarbrick, C., & Yorke, J. (2018). A systematic           review of the prevalence of comorbid cancer and dementia and its implications for cancer-related care. Aging & Mental Health, 22(10), 1254-1271. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2017.1348476
    • Secinti, E., Lewson, A. B., Wu, W., Kent, E. E., & Mosher, C. E. (2021). Health-Related Quality of Life: A comparative analysis of caregivers of people with Dementia, Cancer, COPD/Emphysema, and Diabetes and Noncaregivers, 2015–2018 BRFSS. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 55(11), 1130-1143. https://doi.org/10.1093/abm/kaab007

    This study was presented at ICCN2022 virtual conference.

    Registration for ICCN2022 virtual library now open. For more information, please access https://www.iccn2022.com/registration/

<< First  < Prev   1   2   Next >  Last >> 

Blog Submission

Share your expert knowledge with other international oncology nursing professionals in an article or vblog. Open the submission guidelines to learn more.

ISNCC Secretariat
Suite 710 - 1201 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 2V2

© 2022 - ISNCC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software