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Title: Patients' perspectives and safe handling of oral anticancer drugs at an Asian cancer center
Authors: Chan, A. 
Leow, Y.C.
Sim, M.H.
Keywords: Cancer
Oral anticancer drugs
Patients' perspective
Safe handling
Issue Date: 2009
Citation: Chan, A.,Leow, Y.C.,Sim, M.H. (2009). Patients' perspectives and safe handling of oral anticancer drugs at an Asian cancer center. Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice 15 (3) : 161-165. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background. In view of the increased usage of oral anticancer drugs in the contemporary treatment of cancer, we aimed to examine cancer patients' perspectives of oral anticancer drugs, through a survey at an Asian cancer centre. This study also intended to describe patients' behavior regarding storage, handling, and administration of oral anticancer drugs. Methods. This cross sectional survey was conducted ata single site. The interviewer-administered survey was undertaken at the outpatient pharmacy of National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), the largest ambulatory cancer center in Singapore, between January and March 2008. Eligible patients had received at least one cycle of oral anticancer agent treatment or had been taking oral anticancer agents continuously for 3 months. Results. A total of 126 patients were surveyed. Median age of surveyed patients was 58 years (range 31-85 years). The drugs involved were capecitabine (39.7% of patients), tamoxifen (23.1%), aromatase inhibitors (18.2%), gefitinib (9.1%), and imatinib (3.3%). Over 90% patients self-administered their oral anticancer drugs. The majority of the patients (94.2%) reported no difficulties in adherence to their oral anticancer treatment regimens. Forty per cent of patients reported habitually washing their hands after administering their anticancer drugs. None of the patients, except two patients receiving capecitabine, indicated that they habitually used gloves to handle their oral anticancer medications. Conclusion. The majority of patients receiving oral anticancer agents reported no difficulty in adhering to their oral anticancer treatment regimens as prescribed. However, this survey demonstrated the need to improve patients' understanding of the requirements for storage, handling and safe administration of oral anticancer drugs. © 2009 SAGE Publications.
Source Title: Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice
ISSN: 10781552
DOI: 10.1177/1078155208100584
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