Need for Palliative Care in Advanced Cancer patients
Palliative Care is the active total care of patients in advanced and incurable stage of cancer. More than 70% of all cancer patients in India require palliative care for relief of pain and other symptoms. These patients are usually neglected, whereas what they need is maximum medical management in the form of palliative care and psycho- social support.
Pain is the most common symptom for which palliative care is needed. It can be bony pain , pain in head and neck region or neuropathic pain. Appropriate pain management requires proper evaluation of pain by different scoring systems followed by treatment according to WHO analgesic step ladder approach. Mild to moderate pain can be treated by routine analgesics but severe pain requires morphine or it’s substitutes. These days transdermal patches are also available which provide optimal pain relief with easy administration.
Other symptoms which require palliative care are bed sores, dyspnoea, constipation and poor nutritional intake which can be managed.
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