Are Oncology Nurses at Risk of Developing Cancer?

The risk of breast cancer was significantly high among those who had ever worked in oncology nursing units or in a cancer center, which showed a possible trend of increasing incidence with increasing years of work. It is not only healthcare workers, but also family members who are exposed to the potential dangers of chemotherapy drugs. Studies have found that nurses who reported handling dangerous drugs had twice the risk of having reproductive problems. Other studies report the incidence of rare cancers and various respiratory and skin conditions as a result of exposure.

Research shows that nurses in smaller clinics are at risk of contamination due to lack of monitoring by health trusts. Over the past two decades, there have been an increasing number of cancers of unknown etiology among healthcare workers, such as the increase in the rate of liver cancer among doctors or the high rate of breast cancer among nurses. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the American Society of Medical Genetics recommend regular risk assessment and referral when hereditary cancer syndrome is suspected, and American College of Surgeons accreditation requires cancer programs to provide genetic services. ONS developed two resources to guide cancer nurses through the genetic counseling referral process.

It also reminds nurses to annually update patients' family histories and reassess whether genetic referral is indicated. NIOSH will close the database in September of this year. I've been trying to get documented for 4 years, but my employer doesn't have a medical surveillance program. Safety advocates are concerned about nurses in smaller clinics, where awareness and high-quality equipment are not as high and available respectively. This, he said, was despite his organization's previous research on the subject, which was published in February, and a “large number of other commentators who indicated that nurses who administered chemotherapy regularly were “at risk of developing serious health problems.”I would raise my fertility concerns with the hiring manager and ask him what his exposure risk would be.

I started researching it and found that even if chemotherapy is not given, there are still low levels of exposure to toxic drugs due to contamination of surfaces in common areas, such as the nursing station. In theory, it should protect personnel administering the drug from the risk of contamination, the report said. I was recently offered a position in an adult medical oncology floor and I was very excited to learn new things and work with cancer patients. I no longer work at heme-onc, but certified nurses at my last place of work were paid extra for getting certified. It is important for oncology nurses to be aware of their potential risks for developing cancer due to their occupation. Regular risk assessment and genetic counseling referral should be done when hereditary cancer syndrome is suspected.

Safety advocates should ensure that nurses in smaller clinics have access to high-quality equipment and monitoring by health trusts. As always, whenever working around ionizing radiation always wear a dosimeter badge.

Shauna Crapp
Shauna Crapp

Sushi buff. Lifelong bacon advocate. Extreme food lover. General web fan. Wannabe coffee lover.

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