Living and Dying Well with Cancer: Successfully Integrating Palliative Care and Cancer Treatment
Too many patients with cancer suffer needlessly at the end of their life. The latest monograph from Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care, "Living and Dying Well with Cancer; Successfully Integrating Palliative Care and Cancer Treatment," reports on the hopeful results of four demonstration projects that tested models of concurrent anti-cancer treatment and palliative care for patients with advanced cancer.
In the past years, the Institute of Medicine and professional associations in oncology have put forth a new and hopeful vision for improving the comfort and quality of life for patients with advanced cancer and their families. This vision foresees a continuum of cancer care that integrates two seemingly disparate models of care - aggressive cancer treatment and palliative care - and eliminates the "terrible choice" between life-prolongation and quality of life that is currently imposed on patients and providers alike.
The demonstration projects featured in the cancer monograph establish the practicality of integrating these two models of care, and offer intriguing results that suggest that concurrent care may actually reduce health care costs - or at least not increase them - and may even extend lives. The success of these demonstration projects offers a springboard for population-based studies into the potential clinical and health service delivery implications of concurrent oncology treatment and palliative care.
| Living and Dying Well with Cancer: Successfully Integrating Palliative Care and Cancer Treatment|
The cancer monograph follows the April 25, 2003 national town hall meeting hosted by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, "Living and Dying Well with Cancer: A Community Conversation," at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. The event featured Dr. Andrew Von Eschenbach, director of the National Cancer Institute, and Dr. Ira Byock, Director of Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care, discussing the best practices in cancer care and highlighting families and caregivers who have benefited from integrated oncology services with palliative care.
To view the Web cast go to www.canceradvocacy.org/programs/townhall.aspx.