Palliative Surgery Can Ease Pain in Advanced Cancer Patients, Study Shows

The study, presented at the Society of Surgical Oncology Cancer Symposium, found that palliative surgery in patients with advanced cancers can relieve pain with minimal morbidity.

Palliative surgery can alleviate pain and improve the quality of life for patients dying from advanced cancers, without compromising performance status, a study showed. Among 202 patients with stage III or IV cancers who underwent surgery with palliation as the goal, pain scores were significantly improved after surgery, while Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) scores remained unchanged, said Dr. Anne Falor, a surgical oncology fellow at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif.

“Surgical oncology has not been historically involved in palliative care. If a patient is deemed unresectable, his or her treatment is often the purview of medical or radiation oncology,” she said at the annual Society of Surgical Oncology Cancer Symposium. But for patients who are likely to have prolonged disease-free intervals, palliative surgery can be performed with low morbidity, she said.

Link to the complete article in Oncology Practice: