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Patient knowledge of colorectal cancer therapy side-effects


Ilona Pirotta, BPharm (Hons) 

Fifth-year student, Department of Pharmacy, University of Malta, Msida, Malta


Alison Anastasi, 

Assistant Lecturer, University of Malta


Professor Anthony Serracino-Inglott

University of Malta


Dr Lilian M Azzopardi, 

Associate Professor and Head of Department of Pharmacy, University of Malta


One of the highly specialised areas of practice that has

gained substantial interest over the past few decades is oncology pharmacy. According to the Malta National Cancer Registry, colorectal cancer is reported to being the second most common neoplasia following breast and the second most common cancer death following lung cancer in Malta.1 When comparing the estimated age-standardised rates (European Standard) of colorectal cancer incidence per 100,000, Malta is slightly higher in females (36.2) and slightly lower in males (51.5) than the European average standard of 34.6 and 55.4 for females and males respectively.2

Provision of information is one of the most important responsibilities that pharmacists have in healthcare systems. Educating patients regarding the type of chemotherapy treatment and expected side-effects can provide a basic understanding of their treatment before initiation, and may improve their ability to cope with the disease.3 The present study was carried out at the Oncology Department, Sir Paul Boffa Hospital, Malta (at the day ward, and both the female and male patient wards), to evaluate the impact of side-effects related to colorectal cancer chemotherapy, and to assess the patients

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