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Minerva Chirurgica 2005 August;60(4):205-16

language: English

Palliative care in advanced cancer

Amadori D., Tassinari D., Maltoni M.


Palliative care represents a new field among clinical approaches to patients with advanced or terminal cancer. The modern concept of palliative care can be considered in several ways: 1) the relationship between palliative care and primary treatments of cancer (surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy); 2) the treatment of symptoms and the relationship between symptom control and quality of life; 3) end-of-life care. With regard to the relationship between palliative care and primary cancer treatments, it is common opinion that a continuity of care is needed from diagnosis to the terminal phase of the disease, and oncology departments could represent the ideal dimension in which to fulfil this requirement. In a continuity-of-care setting, symptom control becomes vitally important to improve quality of life of the patient throughout all the stages of the disease. Moreover, support for the patient and his/her family during the terminal phase of the disease is one of the most important dimensions of palliative care. In addition, assistance provided during the last hours of life and support for the family after the patient's death represent the so-called global assistance, which is distinctive of palliative care.

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