Hematology and early palliative care: A conscious choice for patients and healthcare professionals
According to the current definition of EAPC (European Association for Palliative Care) palliative care is the active, total care of the patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. Control of pain of other symptom and of social, psychological and spiritual problems is paramount. Although, early palliative care has already demonstrated efficacy in the management of physical, psychological and spiritual symptoms among cancer patients, interventions of simultaneous care are not yet routinely provided in hematology units. Since, patients with blood and lymphoid malignancies in advanced phases of disease generally present a significant symptom burden (fatigue, bleeding and infection risks, fever, dyspnea, pain), the role of palliative care is to support patients and families and to cooperate with the specialist care team in the decision making process and in the caregiving, especially during the transition time from active treatment to the end-of-life.