Palliative care not only not only improves quality of life, but it also extends life. Liz Szabo in US Today provides a nice summary of the research:
A study of 151 patients published last summer in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that getting early palliative care — in addition to regular medical treatment — helped people with lung cancer live three months longer, compared with those given standard care.
In comparison, chemo can give newly diagnosed lung cancer patients an extra two to three months of life, says study co-author Thomas Lynch, director of the Yale Cancer Center.
“If this was a drug, this would be on the front page of every paper in the country, talking about ‘New advance in lung cancer,’ ” Lynch says.
But palliative care patients didn’t just live longer. They also lived better, with less depression and a higher quality of life, he says.
I am sure that this research has been referenced more in palliative care tweets and blogs over the past year than any other single research project! The idea that palliative care not only improves the quality of life, but does not hasten death is exciting!
This is one more reason for integrating palliative care early in disease!
Do not wait for others to suggest palliative care,… you may need to advocate for yourself. Why?