Palliative care programs for patients with breast cancer: the benefits of home-based care

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Abstract

Improving breast cancer care means enhancing end-of-life care with specialized palliative care services. Palliative care embodies a holistic approach to care that focuses on symptom management of individuals with incurable diseases, whereas end-of-life care specifically focuses on a period of time, such as the last 6 months of life, where a rapid state of decline is often evident. The purpose of this article is to explore the benefits and limitations of end-of-life care provided in the hospital and community settings, with an emphasis on the benefits of home-based care. A key strength of home-based palliative care is the ability to expand the reach of palliative care to more cancer patients beyond residential hospice or hospital settings, which are limited in bed availability. The essential features of quality end-of-life services, regardless of setting, are care that offers seamless transitions, around-the-clock access to the same providers and an interdisciplinary, whole-person approach.

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