Opinion: Early integration of palliative care in the care of women with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer: the time is now Ovarian Cancer and Us OVARIAN CANCER and US Ovarian Cancer and Us

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Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Opinion: Early integration of palliative care in the care of women with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer: the time is now



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......Despite tremendous advances in surgery, primary chemotherapy and novel treatments for recurrent disease, the diagnosis of advanced epithelial ovarian cancer in 2016 remains ultimately fatal in the majority of cases. Additionally, both the disease and the associated adjuvant treatment are not without substantial effect on overall quality of life. The cancer causes symptoms, but the treatment can cause even more significant problems, including neuropathy, nausea, fatigue, anorexia, and pain, among others. As oncology providers, we have a natural tendency to focus on the cancer and response to treatment rather than on the suffering of our patients related to treatment. Our patients in turn are reluctant to report their symptoms for fear that we will stop or change their treatment. As a result, though the cancer may be temporarily beaten into submission by aggressive surgery and adjuvant therapy, the patient may be simultaneously suffering from treatment related symptoms that in some cases are permanent.
The early integration of palliative care in the treatment of women with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer allows us to address this quandary and not only improve quality of life, but in some cases also prolong life.....

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