Palliative care alongside usual oncology care is now recommended by ASCO as the standard of care for any patient with advanced cancer on the basis of multiple randomized trials that show better results with concurrent care than with usual oncology care. Some benefits include better quality of life, better symptom management, reduced anxiety and depression, less caregiver distress, more accordance of care with the wishes of the patient, and less aggressive end-of-life care. Several studies show a survival advantage of several months, and many show considerable cost savings: better care at an affordable cost. However, there are not enough palliative care specialists available, so oncologists must practice exemplary primary palliative care. Protocols used in the clinical trials, similar to those designed for new chemotherapy agents, help oncologists use the TEAM approach of extra time, typically an hour a month spent with the palliative care team; education, especially about prognostic awareness and realistic options, which include formal setting of goals of care and discussion of advance directives; formal assessments for symptoms and for spiritual and psychosocial health; and management by an interdisciplinary team. These are all potentially accomplished by an oncology practice to replicate the services provided by concurrent palliative care.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||American Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2017|
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