Review Article

Cancer-Related Infections

Sylvia K. Wood, DNP, ANP-BC, and Judith K. Payne, PhD, RN, AOCN®

From Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, New York, and University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence to: Sylvia K. Wood, DNP, ANP-BC, Stony Brook University Department of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY 11794. E-mail: sylviakwood@me.com


J Adv Pract Oncol 2011;2:356–371 | DOI: 10.6004/jadpro.2011.2.6.2 | © 2011 Harborside Press®


  

ABSTRACT

Cancer-related infections are complex and remain a leading cause of cancer-related morbidity and mortality. Susceptibility to cancer-related infections is due to the nature of the malignancy and cancer treatments. Epidemiologic trends for cancer-related infectious pathogens have changed dramatically over the past 2 decades, with alarming rates of antimicrobial resistance. In addition, patients living with cancer face unique infectious threats from novel chemotherapeutic and immunomodulating biologic agents, creating new challenges for practitioners. Knowledge gaps, inadequate prophylactic strategies, inappropriate antibiotic therapy, and improper infection control practices are prevalent. Current clinical practice remains out of sync with the rapid pace of research advancements. It is critical for oncology advanced practitioners to recognize the unique risk factors and potential emergent nature for patients who may develop cancer-related infections. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines are essential tools to translate best practices in real time in order to achieve the best patient outcomes.




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