The impact of early palliative care: a medical oncologist’s perspective
The role of early palliative care involvement for patients with cancer is being increasingly recognized for patients with incurable cancer as more studies demonstrate that it is feasible, cost-effective and efficacious. Patients benefit from improved symptom control, better supported decision making and improved quality of life. It has been shown to be effective alongside disease-modifying treatment, and evidence supports the use of multidisciplinary care in a co-management role. It is also a cost-effective way to reduce unnecessary and overly-aggressive treatment at the end of life. Efforts are needed to alleviate persistent misconceptions and support program development in areas where access is limited.