Cancer is the leading cause of death in many developed countries and more than 7.6 million people die of cancer worldwide annually (1). When therapy in cancer patients is no longer considered curative, a palliative, patient-centered approach should be adopted for end-of-life care. Palliative care for incurable cancer can involve both medical and surgical strategies; however, the prevalence of palliative surgery in current practice is often underappreciated. Major US cancer centers have reported that 6–12% of all procedures were for palliative intent (2,3). Additionally, up to 40% of inpatient surgical consultations for oncology patients are for consideration of palliative surgical treatment (4).