advertisement

Cancer

18 March 2010

Pain relief delayed for cancer patients

Palliative care services, which help people who are seriously ill relieve symptoms such as pain, are now found at most U.S. cancer centers, but many programs don't interact with patients until it's too late, study findings show.

0

This article has not necessarily been edited by Health24.

TUESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Palliative care services, which help people who are seriously ill relieve symptoms such as pain, are now found at most U.S. cancer centers, but many programs don't interact with patients until it's too late, study findings show.

Dr. David Hui, of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and his colleagues surveyed 71 U.S. National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers and randomly surveyed 71 other cancer centers. They received responses from 71 percent of 142 executives and 82 percent of 120 program leaders.

The researchers also found that the NCI cancer centers were more likely to have palliative care programs and physicians. A report on the survey was published in the March 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Palliative care outpatient clinics, inpatient consultation teams, palliative care units and hospices all play an integral role providing symptom control, psychosocial support and transition of care for patients with cancer and their families along the cancer care continuum," the study authors wrote. "Based on this understanding, multiple national and international organizations support early incorporation of palliative care into oncology practice."

However, the researchers found that "palliative care patients were referred too late in the disease trajectory, a marker of limited access and integration."

"Although most cancer centers now have a palliative care program, significant gaps and delays in the delivery of care remain," Hui's team concluded.

More information

The Center to Advance Palliative Care has more on palliative care.

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Cancer expert

CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst. For more information, visit cansa.org.za.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules