Dr. Blinderman on Early Palliative Care for Patients With Metastatic Disease
Craig Blinderman, MD, Attending Physician in Medicine & Anesthesiology NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Assistant Professor of Palliative Care (Medicine & Anesthesiology), Columbia University, discusses starting palliative care early in patients with metastatic disease.
In 2010, a study compared early palliative care in patients with advanced lung cancer at the time of diagnosis with standard oncologic therapy. Patients who received palliative care early on saw improved quality of life and decreases in depression. An ASCO provision statement says that oncologists should consider palliative care at the moment of diagnosis for patients with metastatic disease.
The problem, Blinderman says, is that there is a shortage in people trained in palliative care. To solve this problem, the oncology community should work to increase the level of knowledge of palliative care for all clinicians.