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Palliative Care (the real definition)

Bruce Kynaston

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Palliative Care


From Wikipedia - “A World Health Organisation statement describes palliative care as "an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual." More generally, however, the term "palliative care" may refer to any care that alleviates symptoms, whether or not there is hope of a cure by other means; thus, palliative treatments may be used to alleviate the side effects of curative treatments, such as relieving the nausea associated with chemotherapy."


and - "Palliative care is an area of healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients. Unlike hospice care, palliative medicine is appropriate for patients in all disease stages, including those undergoing treatment for curable illnesses and those living with chronic diseases, as well as patients who are nearing the end of life. Palliative medicine utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, relying on input from physicians, pharmacists, nurses, chaplains, social workers, psychologists, and other allied health professionals in formulating a plan of care to relieve suffering in all areas of a patient's life.”


It should commence the moment your doctor diagnoses incurable cancer, even if that is but a sustained rise in PSA after a previous aggressive treatment in a man thought once to have localised disease.

At that situation one could live from month or year to ….. until hospice care takes over, unless something else, as so often, ends life, as we know that more men die with prostate cancer than of PCa.


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Issue date: February 2008
Prostate cancer
Diagnosis and treatment
Men with metastatic prostate cancer should be offered tailored information and access to specialist urology and palliative care teams to address the specific needs of men with metastatic prostate cancer. They should have the opportunity to discuss any significant changes in their disease status or symptoms as these occur.
The regular assessment of needs should be applied systematically to men with metastatic prostate cancer.
Palliative interventions at any stage should be integrated into coordinated care, and any transitions between care settings should be facilitated as smoothly as possible.
Healthcare professionals should discuss personal preferences for palliative care as early as possible with men with metastatic prostate cancer, their partners and carers. Treatment/care plans should be tailored accordingly and the preferred place of care should be identified.

What is NICE?
From Wikipedia:
The National Clinical Guideline Centre (NCGC) was formed in April 2009 following the merger of the National Collaborating Centres for Acute Care, Chronic Conditions, Nursing and Supportive Care and Primary Care. Hosted by the Royal College of Physicians,[1] the NCGC is one of the largest clinical guideline development organisations in the world.
The NCGC is commissioned to develop National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) clinical practice guidelines. NICE guidelines provide care standards within the NHS for healthcare professionals, patients and their carers on the prevention, treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions. The NCGC specialises in producing evidence based guidance and delivers a large work programme covering a wide variety of clinical and health service delivery topics.
The multidisciplinary team that works on guideline development include research specialists in systematic reviewing, health economics and information science, supported by operational and clinical directors, project managers and project co-ordinators.

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