Cancer pharmacists are actively involved in all aspects of cancer care, from chemotherapy dose preparation and safety checks to educating patients about side effects and drug development research. The oncology pharmacy is a great profession for those who are passionate about disease management. To provide the best treatment option for a cancer patient, I must be able to interpret imaging results and pathology reports, identify which specific cells a cancer originates from, understand how cancer behaves in the body (including where it could spread next), and also determine if any molecular biomarkers are expressed by the tumor. It is important to learn more about the resources that already exist, the successful models for integrating pharmacists into cancer research teams, and the unique skills pharmacists offer to the interdisciplinary team. Cancer pharmacists have been involved in the care of cancer patients for more than 50 years, and their role continues to expand.
Decentralized cancer pharmacists or infusion center pharmacists are involved in the sterile compounding of cancer treatments and related supportive medications, and may support some of the direct-to-patient care functions of outpatient cancer pharmacists. The outpatient oncology pharmacist is responsible for managing drug therapy for cancer patients from diagnosis to survival. I chose to focus on one PGY2 in oncology for the pharmacy residency matching process. I highly recommend second-year oncology pharmacy residency (PGY) postgraduate training to all my interested students. Oncology Pharmacy provides evidence-based, patient-centered drug therapy administration and direct patient care for people with cancer, including treatment evaluation and monitoring for potential adverse reactions and drug interactions.
Oncology practice managers oversee cancer pharmacists and are often involved in facilitating the ability of the oncology pharmacy team to provide safe and effective care, manage fiscal and personnel resources, develop policies and procedures, and develop quality strategic initiatives. Many oncologists may not have access to a multidisciplinary team that includes a cancer pharmacist to help them identify other evidence-based treatment options. Unfortunately, cancer drugs are a huge, multi-billion dollar industry, and some treating oncologists take advantage of that. Pharmacists who specialize in oncology are involved in the distribution and delivery of oral cancer treatments. Investigational drug pharmacists are responsible for coordinating processes related to drug studies in oncology research in accordance with legal, professional, institutional and sponsor requirements.
It was a difficult decision, but I accepted the job offer instead of PGY-2's oncology residency offer. In general, an inpatient cancer pharmacist is responsible for managing drug therapy for cancer patients while they are hospitalized. By overlapping clinical activities of BCoP and APP, BCoPs can also help prevent burnout that often occurs in the oncology healthcare team.