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End-of-Life Care

ASCO 2016 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium

Cancer Network presents exclusive coverage from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2016 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, held January 7–9 in San Francisco. We’ll bring you reports as we cover the latest research, trials, scientific advances, and controversies that are changing the way genitourinary cancers are managed and treated.

End-of-Life Care

More than half of hematologists providing care to patients with hematologic malignancies reported initiating end-of-life conversations too late in the course of the patient’s disease.

As the lead caregiver at the bedside, the oncology nurse plays a pivotal role in preventing missteps in end-of-life care decisions and ensuring that providers carry out the wishes of patients and families.

A simple one-question tool may help oncologists more accurately predict cancer patients’ prognoses and know when to initiate end-of-life discussions.

If we can successfully initiate advance care planning discussions with our patients and families, their end-of-life processes will improve, resulting in better care, less use of the hospital, and more honoring of newly discerned choices.

During my first medical school clinical rotation 40 years ago, the professor asked: “What’s the most important tool needed to take care of a patient?” His answer: a chair.

In my own practice, advance care planning is a part of every history and physical. In the beginning, I found the topic awkward and uncomfortable to bring up with my patients.

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