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Early Integration Of Palliative Care Into The Care Of Patients With Cancer.

Rachel Thienprayoon, T. Leblanc
Published 2015 · Medicine

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Discussion Global cancer rates are increasing, and the need for comprehensive care for patients with cancer and for their families is significant.1 The WHO defines palliative care (PC) as “an approach that improves the quality-of-life (QOL) of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of an early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial, and spiritual.”2 As affirmed by the WHO, PC is applicable early in the course of any illness, in conjunction with life-prolonging therapies, such as chemotherapy or radiation.2 The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommend integrating PC early in the course of illness for patients with cancer.1,3-5 We completed a systematic review to evaluate the impact of integrating PC in the care of patients with cancer, and to evaluate ongoing barriers preventing oncology programs from following consensus guidelines.
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