Cure Today: Palliative Care Just as Important as Treating Ovarian Cancer Itself

Patients must advocate for themselves to receive palliative care in conjunction with their treatment regimen to help with symptom burden, according to a presentation from the 2018 National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) Annual Meeting.

“Treating the pain, symptoms and stress of cancer in active treatment and its aftermath is as important as treating the cancer,” said Beth Popp, M.D., senior faculty member at the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“When serious illness strikes, we want to achieve, cure or keep disease in check; maintain good functioning and quality of life; to have coordination and connection of care; and support to help us make informed decisions,” she added.

However, this is not a practice that health care systems have done well, Popp added. She attributed this to the fact that most doctors are not trained to assess or adequately address pain, symptoms and distress when it comes to serious illnesses. “We are a ‘sick-care,’ technology- and disease-driven system that short changes quality of life.” Click here for the full story.

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