Charles F. Von Gunten, MD, PhD, FACP | Authors

Why Oncologists Should Refer Patients Earlier for Hospice Care

November 30, 2011

In this article, prognostic data are summarized and a suggested approach for discussing hospice enrollment with patients is presented.

Knowledge Is Not Enough

October 01, 2006

Cancer causes pain as it invades bone, compresses nerves, produces obstructive symptoms in the pulmonary, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary systems, and distends involved visceral organs. This manuscript reviews progress in cancer pain management during the past 2 decades. Since the 1980s, we have seen (1) genuine advances in research on the biology of pain, (2) new approaches to the treatment of cancer pain, and (3) important changes in the health-care system to ensure that pain is appropriately assessed and managed. Currently, clinicians have the appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic tools to ensure that the vast majority of patients with cancer pain can be comfortable during their illness. Nevertheless, too many patients with terminal malignancies continue to die in pain in nations around the globe. An effective strategy to make alleviating pain a major health-care priority remains the primary challenge to effectively palliating patients with cancer pain.

Psychological Complications of Prostate Cancer

November 01, 2002

Pirl and Mello carefully review the current state of knowledge about the psychological complications of prostate cancer. Their discussion is worth reading, particularly by those who treat patients with the disease. To put this knowledge in context for the general reader, we should give some thought to what this review illustrates about all patients with a serious life-threatening illness.

Treatment of Dyspnea in Cancer Patients

June 01, 2002

Dyspnea is defined as a sensation of difficult or uncomfortable breathing. The symptom is highly prevalent among cancer patients with and without direct lung involvement. The gold standard of assessment is based on

Hospice and Palliative Care: Program Needs and Academic Issues

July 01, 1996

With the renaissance of interest in how best to care for patients with terminal illness comes the need to recognize palliative care and hospice programs as the completion of comprehensive cancer care, not as its antithesis. In