Oncology or palliative care?

In a recent interview with the magazine Cancer World, professor Stein Kaasa explains

why he thinks palliative care should be more integrated with “mainstream” oncology.

– About 60 % of cancer patients receive non-curative care. When you are giving chemo-and radiotherapy as part of life-prolonging treatment, where someone may live two to three years or more, they will have many symptoms and may often be needed to be supported at home.

Kaasa is a strong believer in that both oncology and palliative care will benefit from tighter integration.

– Patients deserve to have palliative care specialists as part of the oncology team during their cancer journey. It is better to have the voice of palliative care firmly integrated in the healthcare system.

An important argument in this matter is symptom control.

– Pain is a major problem for many patients when they are not diagnosed and followed-up appropriately. This calls for closer collaboration between specialists, e.g. on opioids and radiotherapy. We have to avoid patients falling into gaps, Kaasa says.

Posted by Ragnhild Green Helgås.

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