Oral chemotherapy animated video series launches for cancer patients

March 10, 2015

In the next decade, it’s estimated more than 25 percent of cancer chemotherapy will be delivered orally in the United States. Oral chemotherapies are cancer-fighting drugs given by mouth in tablet, capsule, or liquid form. This method of treatment is sometimes easier than getting chemotherapy by infusion at the hospital or clinic, because the medicine can be taken at home. Oral chemotherapy has the same benefits and risks as chemotherapy given by infusion.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute — a leader in patient safety and an innovator in the safe administration of chemotherapy by infusion — is committed to educating patients and their families about the benefits and risks of oral chemotherapy. Since the same safeguards apply to oral chemotherapy as do for infusions, Dana-Farber created a four-part, web-based oral chemotherapy animated video series. Topics include:

  • What is oral chemotherapy
  • Handling oral chemotherapy safely at home
  • Remembering to take oral chemotherapy
  • Managing symptoms and side effects of oral chemotherapy

“When patients receive chemotherapy by infusion, they spend hours with their nurses who administer the drugs and make sure patients understand the side effects of their treatments,” explained Anne Gross, PhD, RN, vice president, Adult Nursing and Clinical Services at Dana Farber.

“When they take oral chemotherapy at home, they must know when and how to take the medication because their nurses are not there to administer the drugs or observe how they are tolerated, yet the drugs are just as toxic,” Gross said. “We need to provide educational tools so patients can refer back to what we teach them and call us when needed. The videos are a concise, engaging way for patients to remember the key points of oral chemo safety.”

Oral chemotherapy is a serious treatment. When taking oral chemotherapy at home, patients must understand special instructions, precautions, and side effects. This animated video series – each video is less than two minutes long and available in English and Spanish – can help patients receive the most benefit from the drug.

For more information on oral chemotherapy treatment, handling and side effects, visit dana-farber.org/oralchemo.

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