Providing Palliative Care for Patients With Lung Cancer

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Abstract

Palliative care (PC) focuses on improving the quality of life and minimizing suffering in patients with chronic, symptomatic, and life-threatening disease. Because of severe and progressive symptoms, coexisting lung disease, anxiety, and depression, lung cancer (LC) patients derive robust benefit from PC. Multiple studies have shown that PC in LC improves quality of life, survival, mental health outcomes, and caregiver satisfaction. Despite proven benefit, PC is very often viewed as a therapy of last resort, and opportunities to reduce suffering are missed. To be most effective, PC should be provided by generalists and specialists, implemented early, involve multidisciplinary teams, and be malleable to the needs of patients and caregivers. This paper reviews the literature to improve the understanding and dissemination of best palliative practices in LC care.

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