II. Epidemiology: Symptom Prevalence

  1. Asthenia (Fatigue): 90%
  2. Anorexia: 85%
  3. Cancer Pain: 76%
  4. Nausea: 68%
  5. Constipation: 65%
  6. Sedation or confusion: 60%
  7. Dyspnea: 12%

III. Management: Cancer Emergencies

  1. Metabolic Cancer Complications
    1. Tumor Lysis Syndrome
    2. Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone: SIADH
    3. Malignant Hypercalcemia (Hypercalcemia of Malignancy)
  2. Infectious and hematologic Cancer Complications
    1. Neutropenic Fever
  3. Vascular Complications
    1. Malignant Cardiac Tamponade
    2. Superior Vena Cava Syndrome
    3. Hyperviscosity Syndrome (includes Polycythemia Vera and Leukostasis)
  4. Neurologic complications
    1. Epidural Spinal Cord Compression
  5. Gastrointestinal complications
    1. See gastrointestinal symptoms below
    2. Neutropenic Colitis (Neutropenic Enterocolitis, Typhlitis)
  6. Chemotherapy complications
    1. Chemotherapy Extravasation
  7. References
    1. Aurora and Herbert in Majoewsky (2013) EM:Rap 13(10): 1-4
    2. Higdon (2006) Am Fam Physician 74:1873-80 [PubMed]
    3. Zuckerman (2012) Blood 120(10): 1993-2002 [PubMed]

IV. Management: Symptoms

  1. Dental
    1. See Mouth Care in Cancer
  2. Dermatology
    1. See Fungating Growths
  3. Pain
    1. See Cancer Pain
  4. Dehydration in Cancer Patients
    1. See Cachexia in Cancer
    2. See Hypodermoclysis
    3. Only treat if it improves quality of life
    4. Risk Intravenous Fluids: Iatrogenic pulmonary edema
  5. Hypercalcemia of Malgnancy
    1. Most common serious Palliative Care metabolic effect
    2. Always keep in mind and test for it!
    3. Fluids effectively treat Hypercalcemia in most cases
  6. Gastrointestinal
    1. See Nausea in Cancer
    2. See Diarrhea in Cancer
    3. See Constipation in Cancer
    4. See Cachexia in Cancer
  7. Pulmonary
    1. See Dyspnea in Cancer
  8. Neurologic and Psychiatric
    1. See Mood Disorders in Cancer
    2. See Delirium in Cancer
  9. Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal
    1. See Fatigue in Cancer
    2. Radicular symptoms should be evaluated with advanced imaging
      1. Cancer patients may not present with typical red flag symptoms (e.g. cauda equina, bilateral involvement)
  10. Cerebral Edema
    1. Treat with Dexamethasone (and concurrent H2 Blocker)
  11. Fluid Third Spacing
    1. Malignant Ascites
    2. See Pleural Effusion in Cancer

V. Management: Special circumstances

  1. Terminal patients who choose not to eat or drink
    1. Some patients will choose to hasten their own death
    2. Competent patients may refuse to take nourishment
    3. Study looked at suffering, pain and duration to death
      1. Patients died within 2 weeks of stopping intake
      2. Low level of pain and suffering
      3. Ganzini (2003) N Engl J Med 349:359-65 [PubMed]

VI. Resources

  1. End of Life Physicians Education Resource
    1. http://www.eperc.mcw.edu
    2. Fast Facts offers an excellent clinician resource
  2. National Cancer Institute
    1. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare
  3. Center to Advance Palliative Care
    1. http://www.capc.org/
  4. American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
    1. http://www.aahpm.org/

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Ontology: Palliative Care (C0030231)

Definition (MSHCZE) Péče zmírňující pouze příznaky onemocnění, neléčí základní příčinu nemoci.(Stedman, 25th ed)
Definition (MEDLINEPLUS)

Palliative care is treatment of the discomfort, symptoms, and stress of serious illness. It provides relief from distressing symptoms including

  • Pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Problems with sleep

It can also help you deal with the side effects of the medical treatments you're receiving.

Hospice care, care at the end of life, always includes palliative care. But you may receive palliative care at any stage of an illness. The goal is to make you comfortable and improve your quality of life.

NIH: National Institute of Nursing Research

Definition (NCI_CDISC) The patient- and family-centered active holistic care of patients with advanced, progressive disease. Essential components of palliative care are: pain and symptom control, communication regarding treatment and alternatives, prognosis, and available services, rehabilitation services, care that addresses treatment and palliative concerns, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs, terminal care, support in bereavement. The goal of palliative care is an achievement of the best quality of life for patients and their families.
Definition (NCI_NCI-GLOSS) Treatment given to relieve the symptoms and reduce the suffering caused by cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Palliative cancer therapies are given together with other cancer treatments, from the time of diagnosis, through treatment, survivorship, recurrent or advanced disease, and at the end of life.
Definition (NCI) The patient- and family-centered active holistic care of patients with advanced, progressive disease. Essential components of palliative care are: pain and symptom control, communication regarding treatment and alternatives, prognosis, and available services, rehabilitation services, care that addresses treatment and palliative concerns, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs, terminal care, support in bereavement. The goal of palliative care is an achievement of the best quality of life for patients and their families.
Definition (MSH) Care alleviating symptoms without curing the underlying disease. (Stedman, 25th ed)
Concepts Health Care Activity (T058)
MSH D010166
SnomedCT 395079002, 393128009, 394079005, 103735009
English Palliative Treatment, Palliative Treatments, Treatment, Palliative, Treatments, Palliative, Care, Palliative, Palliative Care, Palliative Therapy, Therapy, Palliative, Palliative treatment (context-dependent category), PALLIATIVE THER, THER PALLIATIVE, palliative care (treatment), palliative care, care palliatives, cares palliative, therapy palliative, care palliative, palliative treatment, Palliative treatment (situation), Palliative treatment, Comfort Measures, symptom management, palliation, palliative therapy, comfort care, Palliative care, Palliative care (regime/therapy), Palliative care, NOS, Palliative care (regime/therapy)(procedure), Comfort Care, Symptom Management, Symptoms Management
Italian Cura palliativa, Terapia palliativa, Trattamento palliativo, Assistenza palliativa
Swedish Palliativ vård
Spanish tratamiento paliativo (categoría dependiente del contexto), Cuidados Paliativos, tratamiento paliativo (situación), tratamiento paliativo, Atención Paliativa, cuidados paliativos (procedimiento), cuidados paliativos (régimen/tratamiento), cuidados paliativos, Cuidados paliativos, Tratamiento Paliativo
Japanese カンワケア, 緩和ケア, 姑息療法(緩和ケア), 待期療法(緩和ケア), 緩和療法, パリアティブケア
Finnish Lievityshoito
Russian PALLIATIVNOE LECHENIE, PALLIATIVNAIA MEDITSINSKAIA POMOSHCH', ПАЛЛИАТИВНАЯ МЕДИЦИНСКАЯ ПОМОЩЬ, ПАЛЛИАТИВНОЕ ЛЕЧЕНИЕ
Czech Paliativní péče, paliativní terapie, paliativní léčba, paliativní péče
French Thérapie palliative, Traitement palliatif, Soins palliatifs
Croatian PALIJATIVNA NJEGA, PALIJATIVNA TERAPIJA, PALIJATIVNA SKRB
Polish Chirurgia paliatywna, Leczenie paliatywne, Opieka paliatywna
Hungarian Palliatív kezelés
Norwegian Palliativ pleie, Palliativ behandling, Lindrende behandling
Portuguese Cuidados Paliativos, Assistência Paliativa, Cuidado Paliativo, Cuidados paliativos, Tratamento Paliativo
Dutch palliatieve zorg, Therapie, palliatieve, Zorg, palliatieve
German Palliativbehandlung, Palliative Behandlung, Palliativpflege

Ontology: Oncologic complications and emergencies (C0851630)

Concepts Disease or Syndrome (T047)
Italian Complicanze ed emergenze oncologiche
Japanese 腫瘍性合併症および緊急状態, シュヨウセイガッペイショウオヨビキンキュウジョウタイ
Czech Onkologické komplikace a náhlé příhody
English Oncologic complications and emergencies
Hungarian Oncologiai komplikációk és sürgősségi esetek
Portuguese Complicações e urgências oncológicas
Spanish Complicaciones y urgencias oncológicas
Dutch oncologische complicaties en spoedgevallen
French Complications et urgences oncologiques
German Onkologische Komplikationen und Notfaelle

Ontology: Oncologic complication (C2242489)

Concepts Pathologic Function (T046)
English Oncologic complication
Spanish Complicación oncológica
Dutch oncologische complicatie
German onkologische Komplikation
Japanese シュヨウガッペイショウ, 腫瘍合併症
Czech Onkologická komplikace
Portuguese Complicação oncológica
Italian Complicazione oncologica
French Complication oncologique
Hungarian Oncologiai komplikáció