September 13, 2016 – The Sooner the Better: Palliative Care for Cancer

Joseph A. Greer, PhD, department of Psychiatric Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital presented a recent study at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium. The study followed 350 patients who were recently diagnosed (eight weeks prior to study or sooner) with Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), small cell lung cancer, or a gastrointestinal cancer, including gastric cancer. Half of the patients received palliative care and the other half did not. The results showed that after 24 weeks, the group that received early palliative care had less depression than the untreated group, which might be due to the active coping strategies that were developed because of the palliative care interventions. However, when analyzed by cancer type, the patients diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancers showed improvement in quality of life by 12 weeks regardless of early palliative care intervention.
Symptoms, Screening & Early Detection
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