Veterans With Cancer: Providing Care in the Community

Mary Laudon Thomas

cancer, veterans, Veterans Health Administration, VA MISSION Act, comorbidity
CJON 2020, 24(3), 331-334. DOI: 10.1188/20.CJON.331-334

Cancer is more prevalent in the military veteran population than in the general population and is often associated with radiation and chemical exposures encountered while in service. Veterans with cancer may have complex comorbidities, including mental health conditions and social challenges, that can interfere with successful cancer treatment. As more veterans receive their cancer care in the community outside the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), oncology nurses must be aware of these issues and provide appropriate interventions to increase the likelihood that positive cancer treatment outcomes are realized for these patients.


  • Veterans with cancer may have more complex comorbidities and other challenges, which may have an adverse effect on effective cancer treatment.
  • Because of the VA MISSION Act of 2018, many veterans will receive cancer care in the community setting.
  • Oncology nurses in community settings should maintain strong communication with a veteran’s VHA healthcare team to help enhance positive outcomes.
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