September 28, 2015 | American Journal of Managed Care
Palliative care should enter into the discussion with patients with cancer as early as possible as it can manage symptoms from therapy or it can provide comfort to patients who cannot afford or choose to forgo therapy, said Amy Davidoff, PhD, MS, senior research scientist in public health at the Yale School of Public Health.
Below follows a brief transcript from the video interview.
How does palliative care usually enter the conversation for patients with cancer?
For a long time and to some extent even now, palliative care is often equated with end-of-life care, with hospice care. In fact, palliative care is simply symptom management, and when you engage palliative care earlier on in the care process you actually may extend patient lifespan in a meaningful and high-quality way because you are managing their symptoms. You’re managing their pain, their anxiety, you’re intervening early when they’re having side effects of chemotherapy or other treatments.
Palliative care is actually something that should be brought early on in the process; however, for patients who choose to forgo or can’t afford an expensive therapy, it also helps them be comfortable and have the highest quality life possible as they’re approaching end-of-life.