When should palliative care be considered in the treatment of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)?

Updated: Jun 05, 2020
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Because most NSCLC cannot be cured with currently available therapeutic modalities, the appropriate application of skilled palliative care is an important part of treatment. Increasing evidence supports offering concurrent palliative care and standard oncologic care at the initial diagnosis of advanced NSCLC. [79]

For example, a clinical trial found that patients with metastatic NSCLC randomized to early palliative care had a better quality of life and, surprisingly, longer median survival than those randomized to standard oncologic care alone. The palliative care group also had less depressive symptoms, and fewer patients in this group received aggressive end-of-life care. [80]


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