Chemoprevention: An Overview of Pharmacologic Agents and Nursing Considerations

Jean E. Boucher

cancer, chemoprevention, pharmacologic agents, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
CJON 2018, 22(3), 350-353. DOI: 10.1188/18.CJON.350-353

Cancer chemoprevention involves the use of synthetic and biologic agents as targeted therapies for disease prevention, reduction, or suppression. Mechanisms of blocking or suppressing cancer-related pathways include processes of carcinogenesis, chronic inflammatory responses, DNA modulation, and signal transduction. This column provides an update on pharmacologic agents and nursing considerations for chemoprevention.


  • Chemoprevention as primary, secondary, and tertiary strategies can prevent or delay the growth of cancer. 
  • A review of current and newer mechanisms of chemoprevention is discussed.
  • Oncology nurses can provide education and support for cancer chemoprevention for patients and families.
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