Dr Toby Campbell: High-Quality Cancer Care Includes Palliative Care
High-quality cancer care must include palliative care in addition to the more traditional care, such as oncology, radiology, surgery, and imaging, Toby C. Campbell, MD, MSCI, associate professor of medicine, hematology-oncology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and chief of Palliative Care and program director of the Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Training Program, said at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Annual Conference.
Transcript (slightly modified) What has been a key takeaway from the NCCN meeting regarding the discussion on palliative care?
What we've been talking about at NCCN here is the highest quality cancer care and it's really clear that if you want to deliver high-quality cancer care, that includes not only the traditional components like good oncology and radiology and surgery and imaging, but also palliative care. And palliative care delivered by a multi-disciplinary team, which might include a physician and nurse practictioner, but also a social worker or nurse, and that kind of resources that are brought to bear for a patient and family really are a core component of high-quality cancer care.
Do you find the topic of palliative care is more commonly brought up by a nurse or other caregiver on the patient's team?
Palliative care comes up in a variety of circumstances. Sometimes it's the nurse in the chemotherapy room. Sometimes it's the provider. So I think discussions of a palliative nature come up in lots of different contexts. Sometimes it rises to the level where a subspecialists in palliative care becomes a part of the team. And that, too, can be brought up by any number of individuals, including the patients and families themselves.