Palliative care in advanced pancreatic cancer

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Cancer Forum, 2016, 40 (1), pp. 62 - 65
Issue Date:
2016-03-01
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The management of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer often requires a multi-disciplinary approach with individualised therapy. Addressing the underlying causes of several of the troublesome symptoms that are relatively unique to the pathophysiology of pancreatic cancer is crucial in order to optimise the function and comfort of people diagnosed with this poor prognosis cancer. Early recognition and response is likely to improve outcomes later in the course of the disease, but more work needs to be done to compare expectant and reactive approaches to the most troublesome symptoms in advanced pancreatic cancer. Given such a poor outlook, referral to a palliative care service that has an active, team-based approach that includes dietetics, gastroenterology, interventional pain expertise and liaison psychiatry is likely to deliver the best possible outcomes. Such programs need to be in centres with sufficient caseload to ensure that meaningful outcomes can be measured prospectively and these teams are also best placed to incorporate new knowledge and approaches as the evidence base continues to evolve.
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