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Palliative and Supportive Care

Palliative and Supportive Care

Results of a new study indicate that half of patients with multiple myeloma were referred to specialist palliative care.

Integrating palliative care earlier in the disease process can improve quality of life and possibly survival for patients with advanced cancer but its value is widely misunderstood, according to a recent review by palliative care experts.

Why do doctors have such a hard time embracing hospice care and using it to benefit patients, particularly oncology patients? Referring a patient to a hospice program starts a sophisticated plan of care wholly directed at patient comfort, education of the family and grief counseling for the family.

Palliation is a laudable concept and an important goal in the therapy of all patients with malignant disease. Unfortunately, in the current day and age, the adjective “palliative” is being used in a derogatory manner that suggests palliation of suffering somehow lessens the importance or impact that such a therapy has upon individuals with the disease.

Use of the bisphosphonate pamidronate (Aredia) may be “more efficient” than standard regimens as palliative treatment for symptoms of acute symptomatic osteonecrosis in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Palliative radiotherapy is an effective means of alleviating pain and improving overall quality of life in elderly patients with bone metastases, according to a new study.

Optimal supportive care for patients with pancreatic cancer is essential. Putting these interventions into practice requires that oncologists and oncology teams incorporate innovations at both the individual and the system level.

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