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palliative care

2017 ASCO Palliative Care: Resilience Intervention Improves Quality of Life for Adolescents and Young Adults With Cancer

Although a cancer diagnosis is daunting at any age, adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with the disease often face unique challenges and are at risk for poor psychosocial outcomes than older patients. A randomized study investigating whether a brief, age-appropriate, skills-based intervention...

palliative care

2017 ASCO Palliative Care: Patients With Advanced Cancer Prefer Oncologists Not Use Computers in the Exam Room

Although the use of electronic health records in oncology care has led to improved care for patients, results from a new study show that oncologists need to be cautious about using computers during exam room visits, especially for patients with advanced cancer. The randomized study compared...

palliative care

How Effective Communication Can Improve Patient Care—and Reduce Physician Burnout

Surveys conducted between 1950 and 1970 show that most physicians considered it inhumane to give patients with a poor cancer prognosis the bad news.1,2 Since then, it has been well established that open communication between physician and patient is an essential part of effective cancer care and...

palliative care

Advances in Medical Oncology Over the Next Decade 

The next 10 years are expected to usher in unprecedented advances in oncology, including molecularly driven diagnostic and therapeutic developments, whole genome sequencing that results in true precision-based medicine, survivorship care plans that address long-term quality of life concerns, and...

palliative care

New Report Examines Trends in End-of-Life Care

Although fewer Medicare patients with cancer died in the hospital in 2010 than in the years 2003–2007, aggressive treatment continues at the end of life, according to a new report from the Dartmouth Atlas Project.1 The findings also show that a significant number of patients were likely to receive...

survivorship
palliative care

Living With Cancer: The Role of Palliative Care in Long-Term Survivorship Care

According to data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER) and the U.S. Census Bureau registries,1 there are currently about 13.7 million cancer survivors in the United States, and that number is projected to grow to 18 million by 2022. In addition, 64% of this population ...

palliative care

Assessing Patients for Palliative Care

In 2012, ASCO issued a provisional clinical opinion addressing the integration of palliative care services into standard oncology practice at the time a patient is diagnosed with metastatic or advanced cancer and for patients with uncontrolled symptoms.1 However, despite ASCO’s provisional clinical ...

palliative care

Overcoming Physician Bias in Recommending Palliative Care

In 2010, Jennifer S. Temel, MD, published her landmark study in The New England Journal of Medicine showing that the introduction of palliative care early after a diagnosis of metastatic non–small cell lung cancer, along with cancer therapy, not only provided patients with a better quality of life...

palliative care

Bringing Palliative Care Services to Local Community Clinical Practices and Health Facilities Throughout the World

In 2007, the Billings Clinic Cancer Center in Billings, Montana, became one of 15 community-based oncology centers nationwide to receive funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to expand programs for clinical trials, health-care disparities outreach, survivorship and palliative care,...

palliative care

Using Patient-Reported Outcome Measures in Palliative Care Clinical Practice

Incorporating patient-reported outcomes into the palliative care clinical setting can improve patients’ symptom management, quality of life, and overall communication with their oncologists, according to Ethan Basch, MD. Dr. Basch is Director of the Cancer Outcomes Research Program and Associate...

palliative care

The Role of Integrated Palliative Care in Radiation Oncology

Three years ago, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, launched a Supportive and Palliative Radiation Oncology (SPRO) program to integrate generalist palliative oncology services, including the physical, psychosocial, and spiritual aspects of care, into radiation...

palliative care

Timing and Meaning of Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders in the Palliative Care Setting

Although a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order does not mean “do not treat,” that is how it is often interpreted, according to a study examining the level of care oncology inpatients at a tertiary care hospital received.1 The study found that the interpretation of DNR orders among oncology nurses and...

issues in oncology
palliative care

Helping Patients Talk to Their Children About Cancer

Although the focus of an oncologist’s attention is understandably attuned to the needs of the patient, when a patient is a parent, quality oncology care should also include attention to the patient’s role as a parent and to the needs of the patient’s children, according to Paula K. Rauch, MD,...

palliative care

Dying in America: Ensuring High-Quality Care at the End of Life

In September, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its report Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life. The report argues that the U.S. health-care system subjects patients to too many—and often futile—interventions near the end of life, often ...

palliative care

Recipients of the 2014 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Awards in Palliative Care Honored

The following seven recipients of the 2014 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Awards in Palliative Care were honored at the 2014 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium for their work in improving the care of people living with cancer around the world. Erin Alexi, MD, Virginia Commonwealth...

supportive care
palliative care

Experts Stress the Need for Integrating Palliative Care Into Standard Oncology Care

The overriding consensus from the 2014 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium: Patient-Centered Care Across the Cancer Continuum held in Boston was that achieving optimal high-quality cancer care requires both state-of-the-art cancer therapy and the integration of palliative care principles...

palliative care

How the Earlier Introduction of Palliative Care Improves Quality of Life for Patients With Advanced Cancer

A 4-year study1 involving 461 patients with advanced stages of lung, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, breast, and gynecologic cancers has found that providing early outpatient palliative care vs standard oncology care alone improved quality of life and patient satisfaction. The study participants...

palliative care

Debate Over Legalizing Physician-Assisted Death for the Terminally Ill

On November 1, 2014, 29-year-old Brittany Maynard ended her life through physician-assisted death, reigniting the controversy surrounding Death With Dignity laws, which allow physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients. Diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme in January, Ms. ...

palliative care

Incorporating Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Into Palliative Care

Although cancer rehabilitation has been a part of oncology clinical practice for several decades, it has largely gone unrecognized as an integral part of palliative medicine and survivorship care. Now, the role of physical medicine and rehabilitation in oncology care may increase as patients with...

issues in oncology
palliative care

What It Means to Be Mortal

“I learned a lot of things in medical school, but mortality wasn’t one of them,” writes Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, in his new book on the medicalization of aging and dying, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (Metropolitan Books, 2014). In the book, Dr. Gawande critiques the American...

palliative care

Improving the Quality of Palliative Care in Oncology

Two years ago, ASCO collaborated with the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine to develop the Virtual Learning Collaborative, a virtual quality improvement program intended to address the complex care needs of patients with advanced cancer and the care quality for all patients with...

issues in oncology
palliative care

Why Just Having ‘Good’ Communication Skills Is Not Enough for Talking With Seriously Ill Patients

In the Institute of Medicine’s 2014 report Dying in America,1 the report’s authors found that while frequent clinician-patient conversations about end-of-life care, goals, and preferences are necessary to avoid unwanted treatment, most patients do not have those conversations with their physicians. ...

palliative care
supportive care
palliative care

Clergy Religious Beliefs Are Associated With Greater ICU Care in Congregants’ Final Days

A survey exploring the relationship between spiritual support and end-of-life care by evaluating clergy members’ opinions and experiences related to care provided to congregants at the end of their life has found that a majority of clergy endorse religious beliefs regarding their...

supportive care
palliative care

Palliative Care 2015: Study Finds the Answer to One Question Can Help Identify Patients Nearing the End of Life

Determining the answer to a simple question, “Would you be surprised if this patient died within the next year?” can be an important tool to help predict which patients with cancer may be in their final year of life, according to the findings from a study by Vick et al. The tool, known...

palliative care
issues in oncology
issues in oncology
palliative care

Study Shows Palliative Chemotherapy in Patients With End-Stage Cancer Did Not Improve Quality of Life and May Be Harmful

Although palliative chemotherapy is used to improve quality of life for patients with end-stage cancer, a study evaluating its use found that palliative chemotherapy did not improve quality of life near death for patients with a moderate or poor performance status and that it worsened quality of...

supportive care
issues in oncology
issues in oncology
palliative care

End-of-Life Discussions Are Associated With Longer Survival and Higher Quality of Life

A review of advance care planning and end-of-life communication practices among physicians by the American College of Physicians has found that implementing early discussions about goals of care with seriously ill patients results in better quality of life, reduced use of life-sustaining treatments ...

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