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The goal of palliative care is to prevent and relieve suffering and to support the best possible quality of life for patients and their families, regardless of the stage of the disease or the need for other therapies. Palliative care includes the goals of enhancing quality of life for patients and family members, helping with decision-making and providing opportunities for personal growth. Palliative care is a medical care provided by an interdisciplinary team1 and can be rendered along with life-prolonging treatment or as the main focus of care; it encompasses aggressive symptom management, supported decision making and, when appropriate, end of life care.
Over recent decades, the role of palliative care has evolved because of an increased understanding of the opportunities for palliative care and because of advances in the science of palliative care. It is because of the many opportunities afforded by palliative care that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has recommended the integration of palliative care as a part of the care of all people with cancer, from the time of diagnosis, and independent of outcome.2 …
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