As an urgent care provider you may not treat cancer, but you certainly can expect to treat cancer patients. And when you do, you have the opportunity to alter the course of the patient’s care and quality of life in any number of ways. Take the case of an elderly patient who presented to a new primary care physician with severe numbness and tingling in his fingers and toes, as relayed in an article published recently by JAMA Internal Medicine. The new provider diagnosed chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) and prescribed gabapentin, 100 mg three times a day. While that treatment proved ineffective, the PCP helped the patient tremendously by counseling him on the nature of CIPN—something none of the patient’s other providers ever even mentioned to him. Beyond helping patients understand how cancer and treatment can affect their bodies, the urgent care provider who treats a patient who has cancer is also in a position to provide the treating oncology team with important insights into how the patient is doing between appointments. For more information on the nuances of treating patients who present to urgent care with cancer-related complaints, read An Urgent Care Approach to Malignancy Complications in the JUCM archive.

Communication (with Patients and Oncologists) Is Key When Treating Cancer Patients
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