Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 391--397

Radiation for palliation: Role of palliative radiotherapy in allevieating pain/symptoms in a prospective observational study at two Tertiary Care Centers

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Army Hospital R and R, Delhi, India
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, INHS Aswini, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Radiation Oncology, Command Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ashok Kumar
Department of Radiation Oncology, Army Hospital R and R, Delhi Cantt, Delhi - 110 010
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_35_19

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Purpose: Approximately one-third of patients attending the tertiary care center require palliative management. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of palliative radiation in alleviating the pain and symptoms and improvement in quality of life (QOL). Methods: This was a prospective study aimed to evaluate patients attending two oncology centers and those who require palliative radiation. During 3 years, 1365 patients attended radiation oncology center for various malignancies. Of these patients, 304 patients were treated with palliative radiation for various indications. These patients were followed up for a period of up to 6 months for symptom relief and improved QOL. Results: About 22% of patients received palliative radiation primarily for carcinoma lung, breast, and prostate malignancy. Analysis revealed elderly patients in the age group of 50–70 being the most commonly affected and most common presentation was pain, swelling, and headache. The most common site of metastases was bone including the spine and brain. Most commonly employed schedule of palliative radiation was 30 Gy in 10 fractions and 20 Gy in 5 fractions. Patients responded well to palliative radiation and had improved pain relief and QOL. Conclusions: Palliative radiation is an important part of the management of cancer care and when given improves QOL, and significant pain relief.


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