Early Integration of Palliative Care into Standard Oncology Care – Benefits, Limitations, Barriers and Types of Palliative Care


Klin Onkol 2015; 28(3): 171-176. DOI: 10.14735/amko2015171.

Patients with advanced cancer experience a significant number of physical symptoms and psychological distress, which worsen their quality of life (QOL). Palliative care is oriented to prevent and relieve suff ering and promote QOL of patients with advanced cancer. In oncology, the role of palliative care is traditionally perceived to be the treatment after the antineoplastic therapy is finished. A concept of early integration of palliative care into standard oncology practice has been recently introduced. There is a lot of data supporting this concept of parallel application of both oncology care and palliative care. Early palliative care has been shown to provide benefits in QOL, mood, symptoms, health care utilization and survival. In this review, we summarize published data about benefits and difficulties of early palliative care. We also discuss the model of general and specialized palliative care integrated into oncological practice, their differences and consequences.


Full text in PDF