Palliative Care for the Cancer Patient

Palliative Care Service, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.
Primary care (Impact Factor: 0.83). 12/2009; 36(4):781-810. DOI: 10.1016/j.pop.2009.07.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Palliation of symptoms to optimize QOL is the foundation of cancer care regardless of stage of disease or level of anticancer treatment. Patients commonly experience pain, constipation, nausea, vomiting, dyspnea, fatigue, and delirium. Many valid clinical tools are available to the primary care clinician to screen for symptoms, assess severity, measure treatment response, and elicit the patient's subjective symptom experience. Although there is limited evidence regarding the relative efficacy of symptom interventions from randomized controlled trials, clinical practice guidelines are available.

  • Disease-a-month: DM 10/2013; 59(10):330-58. DOI:10.1016/j.disamonth.2013.05.003 · 0.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Palliative care has been developing rapidly throughout the world. A substantial number of palliative care patients are advanced cancer patients. Terminal cancer patients suffer from groups of symptoms called symptom clusters, rather than from individual independent symptoms. The aim of this study is to evaluate the symptoms of terminal cancer patients retrospectively and to present the symptom clusters of these patients. After ethical approval was obtained, a total of 113 (74 female, 39 male) patients with the diagnosis of the terminal stage cancer were retrospectively evaluated in Gaziosmanpasa University, Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation between January 2011 and January 2013. Patient records were used to obtain medical history, physical examination findings, patient complaints, accompanying persons, primary cancer site, and metastasis sites. Symptoms such as fatigue, pain, vomiting, loss of appetite,insomnia, constipation, cough and dyspnea were assessed with the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System scale (0: None, 10: Worst possible). The symptom clusters were constructed using hierarchical symptom cluster analysis. The mean age was 64.51±11.38 years. Patients were referred to our outpatient clinic from Departments of General Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Urology, Oncology, Ear-Nose-Throat, Thoracic Surgery, Internal Medicine and Neurosurgery. Fatigue was the most-detected symptom (98.2%). Three symptom clusters were identified: nausea-vomiting-loss of appetite-constipation, dyspnea-cough, and fatigue-pain-insomnia. Although palliative cancer patients were referred mainly with the symptom of pain, at least three symptom clusters were detected. The management of terminal stage cancer patients should focus on symptom clusters rather than individual symptoms.
    Agri: Agri (Algoloji) Dernegi'nin Yayin organidir = The journal of the Turkish Society of Algology 01/2015; 27(1):12-17.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Adverse events related to analgesic use represent a challenge for optimizing treatment of pain in older people. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine whether non-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NS-NSAID) and cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitor use is appropriately targeted in those with a prior history of gastrointestinal (GI) events, myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke. METHODS: A retrospective study of pharmacy claims data from the Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs was conducted, involving 288,912 veterans aged 55 years and over. Analgesic utilization from 2007 to 2009 was assessed. Three risk cohorts (veterans with prior hospitalization for GI bleed, MI or stroke) and a low-risk cohort were identified. Poisson regression was applied to test for a linear trend over the study period. RESULTS: The prevalence of analgesics dispensed in the overall study population was approximately 34 % between 2007 and 2009. COX-2 inhibitors were more widely dispensed than NS-NSAIDs in all those at risk of NSAID-related adverse events. At the end of 2009, the ratio was 5.1 % to 2.5 % in the GI cohort, 3.6 % to 3.2 % in the MI cohort and 3.6 % to 2.6 % in the stroke cohort. CONCLUSIONS: Although COX-2 inhibitors appeared to be preferred over NS-NSAIDs in those with a prior history of GI events, 2.5 % of patients were still using an NS-NSAID at the end of the study period. Consistent with treatment guidelines, in most of these cases, these drugs were co-dispensed with proton pump inhibitors. COX-2 inhibitors were used at slightly higher rates than NS-NSAIDs in those with a prior history of MI or stroke, which is not consistent with guidelines recommending NS-NSAID use.
    Drugs & Aging 11/2012; 30(1). DOI:10.1007/s40266-012-0037-9 · 2.50 Impact Factor