Dr. Foley Addresses the Importance of Palliative Care

Dr. Kathleen Foley, from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Addresses the Importance of Palliative Care

Kathleen M. Foley, MD, an Attending Neurologist in the Pain & Palliative Care Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, discusses a program created by the World Health Organization (WHO) that addresses palliative care policies for patients with cancer.

Foley notes the ability to prevent disease, detect disease early, treat those who are treatable, and provide palliative care are essential for any program. These four items summarize the WHO's policy on palliative care and are incorporated into many documents that stress the importance of palliative care not just for cancer patients but also for all patients.

Around the world, there has been an extraordinary development of palliative care programs. However, approximately less than 20% of the population that might benefit from palliative care services actually received care. Internationally, the greatest challenges are in medium and lower income countries where there is a lack of training and resources to provide the needed palliative care.