Oncologists generally refer to specialized palliative care late

October 30, 2012
Oncologists generally refer to specialized palliative care late
Definitional issues and non-acceptance of patients receiving chemotherapy are the barriers to earlier referral to specialized palliative care by oncologists, according to a study published online Oct. 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

(HealthDay)—Definitional issues and non-acceptance of patients receiving chemotherapy are the barriers to earlier referral to specialized palliative care (SPC) by oncologists, according to a study published online Oct. 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Kirsten Wentlandt, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues anonymously surveyed physician members of the Canadian Association of Medical Oncologists, Canadian Association of , and Canadian Society of Surgical regarding SPC referral practices.

The researchers found that, of the 603 participating physicians among 839 surveyed, 94 percent reported that SPC was available to them, but only 37 percent said that these services accepted patients on chemotherapy. Terminally ill patients were usually/always referred by 84 percent of reporting physicians, but generally for uncontrolled symptoms or discharge planning late in the disease course. If SPC was renamed supportive care, one-third of physicians said they would refer earlier. Comprehensiveness of available SPC services, satisfaction with SPC availability, SPC acceptance of patients receiving , and oncologist ease with referring patients to a palliative care service before they were close to death were the factors significantly predictive of higher referral frequency.

"Oncologists referred patients frequently to SPC, but generally late in the disease course for patients with uncontrolled symptoms," the authors write.

Explore further: Attitudes toward end-of-life care: A survey of cancer patients and others in Korea

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Attitudes toward end-of-life care: A survey of cancer patients and others in Korea

May 30, 2011
Attitudes toward end-of-life care for cancer patients vary, but most patients, family members, oncologists and members of the public are receptive to withdrawing futile life-sustaining treatments in people who are dying, ...

Most cancer physicians reach out to bereaved family, caregivers

October 3, 2011
While the majority (70 percent) of surveyed cancer care physicians initiate contact with the bereaved family and caregivers of their patients who have died, over two-thirds do not feel they have received adequate training ...

Radiation oncologists are discussing infertility risks with young cancer patients

March 8, 2012
More than 80 percent of radiation oncologists discuss the impact of cancer treatments on fertility with their patients of childbearing age, which can lead to improved quality of life for young cancer patients who are living ...

Breast cancer patients more satisfied when specialists share care management

December 15, 2011
Patients with breast cancer report greater satisfaction with care when their cancer doctor co-manages their care with other specialists. However, some specialists are more likely than others to share decision-making with ...

Recommended for you

Cell cycle-blocking drugs can shrink tumors by enlisting immune system in attack on cancer

August 16, 2017
In the brief time that drugs known as CDK4/6 inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, doctors have made a startling observation: in certain patients, the drugs—designed to halt cancer ...

Toxic formaldehyde is produced inside our own cells, scientists discover

August 16, 2017
New research has revealed that some of the toxin formaldehyde in our bodies does not come from our environment - it is a by-product of an essential reaction inside our own cells. This could provide new targets for developing ...

Researchers find 'switch' that turns on immune cells' tumor-killing ability

August 16, 2017
Molecular biologists led by Leonid Pobezinsky and his wife and research collaborator Elena Pobezinskaya at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have published results that for the first time show how a microRNA molecule ...

Popular immunotherapy target turns out to have a surprising buddy

August 16, 2017
The majority of current cancer immunotherapies focus on PD-L1. This well studied protein turns out to be controlled by a partner, CMTM6, a previously unexplored molecule that is now suddenly also a potential therapeutic target. ...

A metabolic treatment for pancreatic cancer?

August 15, 2017
Pancreatic cancer is now the third leading cause of cancer mortality. Its incidence is increasing in parallel with the population increase in obesity, and its five-year survival rate still hovers at just 8 to 9 percent. Research ...

Skewing the aim of targeted cancer therapies

August 15, 2017
Headlines, of late, have touted the successes of targeted gene-based cancer therapies, such as immunotherapies, but, unfortunately, also their failures.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.