Improving the quality of life — palliative care — for people with cancer can also increase survival, according a new pilot study. These findings will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's 2013 Quality Care Symposium. Palliative care addresses uncontrolled symptoms, helps guide decision making, and coordinates treatment. This service is underused, and the researchers found that routinely offering it to people makes them twice as likely to take advantage of it (82% vs. 41%). With palliative care, hospital readmissions dropped from 36% to 17%, and hospice use rose from 14% to 25%. Best of all, people who got palliative care lived longer, with the ratio of expected to actual deaths dropping from 1.35 to 0.59.
Via Cancer Commons