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Why oncologists lag on palliative care


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ONCOLOGY TIMES | Online – 25 January 2014 – It has been more than two years since the American Society of Clinical Oncology [ASCO] published its provisional clinical opinion (PCO) on early palliative care, which says that "combined standard oncology care and palliative care should be considered early in the course of illness for any patient with metastatic cancer and/or high symptom burden."1 But oncologists are not all on board. As shown ... research conducted at three cancer centers that have well-established outpatient palliative care clinics found that 22 of the 74 medical oncologists interviewed believe that palliative care is an alternative to chemotherapy, rather than complementary care.2 The interviews were conducted in 2012; the ASCO Board of Directors approved the PCO in November 2011 and published it in February 2012. "There is a significant minority of oncologists who feel that palliative care is incompatible with chemotherapy even though that is no longer supported by guidelines," said ... Yael Schenker, MD, MS, a palliative care specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) in Pennsylvania.



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I agree 100% as you probably recall my attitude that it commences, or should, the moment a clinician tells a patient that it appears that the cancer is in an incurable form as at least the anhiety 'hits the roof'!
You may send that out as a P.S. to your email, if you wish.
Best wishes, as ever,
P.S. I am now retired from PCFA positions as one of their 'formal' volunteers.
I remain a group member.
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