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Supporting breast cancer patients

  • Circle of care
  • Link’s role

Apart from a surgeon, oncologist, radiologist and the family doctor, a breast cancer patient can have an even wider circle of care. This wider circle can include a psychologist, physiotherapist, lymphologist and your pharmacist.

Should you be diagnosed with cancer, the medication prescribed to you is possibly unlike anything that you have experienced before and your Link pharmacist is there to guide you through your treatment.

CancerCare outlines some of the ways that pharmacists can help cancer patients during treatment:

Understanding your medication: Your specialist will have explained your medication to you but it is useful having your pharmacist patiently explaining again, filling any gaps in information, and taking the time to answer your questions.

Knowing the side effects: Detailed information is provided in the medicine’s package insert but this can be a challenging time and to hear it from the pharmacist in layman’s language can be reassuring. The pharmacist can also help you to manage any side effects.

Application of medication: Some medication should be taken with meals, others are taken on an empty stomach, while some may be self-administered via injection which might need some coaching from your pharmacist.

Encouraging adherence: Medicines often release an active ingredient over a set period of time so it is very important to take it as directed. If you skip a dose, it can reduce the medication’s efficacy in treating the cancer whereas increasing the dose can be dangerous as side effects could increase. If you miss a dose or mistakenly increase your dose, your pharmacist is best placed to advise you.

Over the counter medication: The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science at the University of California warns that some drugs which people normally take can present certain problems for a person with cancer. Have a conversation with your pharmacist about your current medication, including over the counter (OTC) medication

that you are currently taking. Also ask the pharmacist to advise you on which supplements you can take and which to avoid.

“A cancer patient often has a team of specialists and healthcare providers attending to them and the pharmacist plays a very important role in this circle of care. At a time that can be overwhelming and stressful, your Link pharmacy team is always there for you”, says Link’s Ryan Conybeare.



While all reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this article, information may change or become dated, as new developments occur. The Link group shall not be held liable or accountable for the accuracy, completeness or correctness of any information for any purpose. No content in this article, irrespective of the date or reference source, should be viewed as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, pharmacist or any other suitably qualified clinician.