Welcome to the March 2020 issue of the SIOG Nursing & Allied Health newsletter!

Welcome to our March Newsletter. COVID-19 has caused a high demand in our clinical priorities. We apologize in the delay in getting the newsletter ready.

In this newsletter you can find our minutes of the meeting we had at the SIOG conference in Geneva in November last year. This year the SIOG Annual Conference will be held in Geneva from October 1-3, 2020 and we truly hope to see you all there!

With this newsletter the governance group of the SIOG Nursing & Allied Health (NAH) Interest Group would like to inform you of some updates in the field of geriatric oncology related to nursing and allied health.This newsletter appears 4 times each year and includes some general information, a special topics section, and a column to meet and greet (new) members and highlight their work and research. A short report on past events relevant for nurses and allied health professionals is also included. An overview of upcoming events is linked to the SIOG website

As always, you can contact the SIOG NAH Interest Group leadership with your ideas and contributions for the newsletter or for more information by sending an email through the Head Office.

Treatment decision making among older adults with colorectal cancer: A doctoral thesis

In December 2019, Fay Strohschein, RN, PhD successfully defended her doctoral dissertation exploring treatment decision making from the perspective of older adults with colorectal cancer. 
In this prospective constructivist grounded theory study, Fay followed 18 people, aged 71-88 years, with an initial diagnosis of colon or rectal cancer, through their initial treatment trajectories, ranging in length from 3 to 18 months. She interviewed participants before and after treatment, asking them to keep diaries of their thoughts and experiences between interviews <More>

UPCOMING SIOG NAH WEBINAR on ‘Benefits of medical cannabis for elderly cancer patients: initial evidence and future directions for research

SAVE THE DATE: Thursday April 23 2020, at 12:00 -1:00 pm Eastern Time.

Dr. Antonio Vigano, McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)

Join Zoom Meeting using this link:  https://zoom.us/j/379264544

Meeting ID: 379 264 544

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/acoIyoFEVP

Position statement

Dear SIOG members,

Cancer predominantly affects older adults. Around the world the number of older adults with cancer will increase significantly due to the aging of the world population. Nurses have a crucial role to play in optimizing care for older adults with cancer and those close to them. However, training, resources, and support is often lacking. A framework to inform our approach to address age-related concerns in oncology nursing practice, leadership, education, research, and policy is needed.

The Nursing and Allied Health Interest Group of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology is working in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology (CANO/ACIO) Oncology and Aging Special Interest Group and the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) to develop an international joint position statement concerning the role of nurses in addressing age-related concerns in cancer care. <More>

Member Profile

Dr. Lorinda Coombs, PhD, FNP-BC, AOCNP received her PhD from University of California San Francisco, her post-master's FNP training at the University of California Los Angeles, Master's degree from San Francisco State University and a B.A. from University of Michigan.
Her dissertation focused on analyzing Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant care for older adults with cancer using the SEER-Medicare dataset. She is currently a National Institute of Health T32 postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Utah, and recently received a research grant from the American Nurses' Foundation to study 'Treatment Decision Making in Older Adults with Cancer: Measuring the Impact of Symptom Burden, Functional Status and Patient/Provider Communication'.
She currently is a clinician in benign hematology at Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City in addition to her research focus.

Report on the CANO Annual Conference

Celebrating our Diversity:
The 2019 Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology Conference

The Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology/Association Canadienne des Infirmières en Oncologie (CANO/ACIO) 31st annual conference was held from October 20 to 23, 2019.  It was well attended with over 300 oncology nurses coming together in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the home of the Canadian Human Rights Museum and the geographical center of Canada. The conference theme of Celebrating our Diversity underscored the range and variety of presentations, posters and workshops shared over the four days of conference. <More>


Congratulations to the 2019 Boehringer Ingelheim Oncology Nurse of the Year Award Recipient - Rana Jin!

Rana Jin, clinical nurse specialist at Princess Margaret Hospital’s Geriatric Oncology Program, was recognized by her peers for the exceptional impact she has made on the lives of seniors throughout her 20-year nursing career.

“Rana’s nominators, patients and family all reference her passion for oncology nursing and excellence in caring for older adults with cancer,” says Karen Janes, the Recognition of Excellence Committee Chair from CANO. “In her education-related activities, she has presented in two key workshops at CANO 2018 and participated in multiple research projects, leading to nine abstracts of poster or oral presentations at national and international meetings and three papers published in 2018-2019.”

Rana was inspired to enter nursing by her mother and grandmother who were both dedicated nurses, but it was not until she was faced with her grandmother’s own experience suffering from breast cancer that she really understood the value nurses can bring to the overall patient experience. 

Rana’s experience with her grandmother led her to pursue a specialization in geriatric oncology. Today, she’s a clinical nurse specialist at Princess Margaret Hospital’s Geriatric Oncology Program, providing comprehensive clinical assessment and care planning for older adults referred to the program. She says she is honoured to have been recognized by her peers with the 2019 Boehringer Ingelheim Nurse of the Year Award.

NAH meeting November 16th, 2019

The following agenda items were discussed:

1. Introductions
2. Survey for position statement of oncology nursing care for older adults with cancer.
3. Review of NAH activities
4. Working group on implementation of nurse-led GA:
5. CGA workshop this morning. This was the first time we did this workshop with Young SIOG. Any feedback /suggestions are very welcome. SIOG will send out conference evaluation forms shortly.
6. Paper on functional status. Ginah provided an update on the paper.
7. Attendees asked about access to past webinars.
8. Interest in having webinars on topics related to implementation of interventions by/with oncology nurses. <More>

Survey for position statement of oncology nursing care for older adults with cancer
This was started last year at SIOG when we had the initial group discussion to get members input.  This is our joint project with EONS and CANO. In Canada the data collection is well under way. After the conference we will send out the survey link and we ask that you distribute that among your colleagues, they don’t have to be SIOG members to complete the survey. The survey is anonymous and only 4 open-ended questions. It is available here.

Save the date

  • The MASCC annual meeting will be held June 25-27 in Seville Spain. More information
  • The CANO annual meeting will be held October 23 - October 26, 2020, in Victoria, BC. More information
  • The EONS annual meeting will be held Sept 18-22 in Madrid, Spain. More information

An overview of future SIOG and other events is published on the SIOG website.

You can find all issues of the SIOG NAH newsletter online and on our Facebook page (SIOG Nursing & Allied Health Interest Group).