Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer face a world turned upside down. As the country focuses this month on building awareness of the risk factors, preventive practices and treatments for this disease, our CME/CE article draws attention to an issue that won't snare many headlines: treatment-induced menopause.
Lisa Chism, DNP, APRN, BC, NCMP, FAANP, is a nurse practitioner who has earned national certifications in women's health and gerontology. She also has earned menopause clinician certification from the North American Menopause Society. Chism established what appears to be one of the first specialty clinics dedicated to assessing and meeting the needs of women who experience menopausal symptoms as a result of breast cancer treatment and/or survivorship. In our continuing education offering, she discusses this clinic as well as evidence-based practice interventions for this population.
Women who experience induced menopause as a result of breast cancer treatments are likely to experience more severe menopausal symptoms than women who enter menopause naturally, she explains.
"Patient-centered care for this unique population requires the specialized expertise and knowledge of providers who are dedicated to the promotion of quality of life," Chism writes. "NPs and PAs are in a unique position to educate, counsel and assist in treatment planning to ensure that quality of life is an essential part of breast cancer treatment and survivorship."
In addition to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October features the annual conference of the Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health (NPWH). If you are attending the conference in Orlando, please stop by our booth in the exhibit to meet our team and discuss your article ideas and interests. To find out more about this organization, visit www.npwh.org. Physician assistants interested in women's health can find their specialty organization, the Association of Physician Assistants in Obstetrics and Gynecology, at www.paobgyn.org.
One final note: Data collection for the 2012 National Salary Survey of NPs & PAs is closing at the end of this month. Be sure your specialty, practice setting, academic level, experience level and geographic location are accurately represented. It's up to you! Find the survey at www.advanceweb.com/NPPAsalary2012.