Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 477--484

Initial experience of head and neck cancer patients treated in an oncologist led palliative cancer care clinic at a tertiary cancer care center in uttar pradesh: Is the initiative of a full-fledged palliative care for cancer patients justified

Department of Radiotherapy, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Mranalini Verma
Department of Radiotherapy, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.191854

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Introduction: Poor socioeconomic status and illiteracy attribute to the advanced presentation of head and neck cancer (HNC) patients in India and are candidates for palliation in our setup. We set up a palliative cancer care clinic (PCCC), and an audit of initial 153 HNC patients is presented. Aims and Objectives: To assess the impact of palliative cancer care services. Methodology: Data of advanced HNC patients suited for palliation were collected to document demography, symptomatology, cancer treatment, and supportive care. Results: One hundred and fifty-three patients were seen during January 2013 to March 2015 in the PCCC. Seventy-two (47%) referral cases were due to disease progression and 81 (53%) due to " de novo" advanced cases. Median follow-up for this group was 5.3 months. Ninety (59%) cases needed some degree of assistance for their normal activities. Sixty-seven (44%) patients belonged to poor socioeconomic status and 65 (43%) were educated up to equivalent of high school. One hundred and thirty-five (88%) patients had an adequate family support. Pain was the most common presenting symptom in 134 (87%) cases with adequate relief in 112 (84%) patients with another 13 (09%) could not be assessed. Overall median duration of symptoms was 6 months. Cancer-directed therapy was used in 143 (93%) patients. Near the end of life in 47 (73%) out of 63 documented cases, caregivers were psychologically prepared for the inevitable. Conclusion: The role of palliative care team in alleviating physical, psychosocial, and emotional issues of patient and family members was significant. PCCC seems to be a feasible working model in our setup.


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