| ORIGINAL ARTICLE
|Year : 2016 | Volume
| 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
Punita Lal, Mranalini Verma, Gaurav Kumar, Resham Shrivastava, Shaleen Kumar
Department of Radiotherapy, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
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.
Department of Radiotherapy, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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