In recent decades, few fields have changed as drastically as oncology. A wide variety of approaches must be taken in order to best care for cancer patients. With the globalization of health care and modern society, nontraditional management of cancer symptoms is once again increasing in popularity. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has also recently updated their palliative care guidelines. These guidelines provide a detailed approach for the care of a wide range of cancer patients but largely focus on traditional pharmacotherapy. An increasing number of studies are being conducted on nonpharmacologic approaches to care for patients with cancer. These strategies range from mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and acupuncture to massage and music therapy. As easily accessible and highly trusted health care professionals, pharmacists have a duty to know not only about appropriate pharmacologic palliative care but also appropriate nonpharmacologic alternatives to recommend to patients and providers.
Powell D, Johns S, Alam S, Cwikla IE, Rasor B, Koh DW. Pharmacologic and Nonpharmacologic Approaches to Palliative Care in Oncology. PAW Review. 2016 Jan 01; 7(3):Article 2 9-16 . Available from: https://digitalcommons.onu.edu/paw_review/vol7/iss3/2. Free full text article.