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ONCOLOGY: Treatment and palliative care can work together

President Nixon declared a War on Cancer in 1971; Vice President Joseph Biden recently announced a cancer cure “moonshot.”  The authors of this opinion piece, physicians with the Duke Cancer Institute and the Center to Advance Palliative Care, suggest that rather than the traditional model of bringing palliative care options to the fore after cure options have been exhausted, the two should be integrated.  Palliative care, which now often connotes end-of-life care to many, should be employed as a way of easing the patient and family through the rigors, pain, and discomfort associated with active treatment.  The need for introduction of palliative concepts into the medical school or residency curriculum is mentioned, as is the estimated shortage of 10,000 palliative care physicians.

Source: Kamal, A.H., Leblanc, T.W., and Meier, D.E. (2016, May 31). Better palliative care for all: Improving the lived experience with cancer. JAMA.  Click here: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=2526608  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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