Semin Respir Crit Care Med 2016; 37(05): 750-759
DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1592110
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Palliative Care in Lung Cancer: A Review

Brett C. Bade
1   Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Charleston, South Carolina
Gerard A. Silvestri
1   Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Charleston, South Carolina
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
12 October 2016 (online)


Lung cancer patients are at high risk of suffering due to severe and refractory symptoms, concomitant respiratory comorbidity, frequent disease progression, and treatment that can worsen and compromise quality of life. Palliative care (PC) has shown multiple benefits to cancer patients such as better quality of life, higher patient and family satisfaction, improved disease understanding, less symptom burden, fewer depressive symptoms, less aggressive end of life care, and even improved survival with early implementation. For these reasons, multiple societies have recognized PC as an essential component of lung cancer care, and early PC is recommended for patients with metastatic disease or refractory symptoms. Unfortunately, utilization of PC is both low and often near the end of life, increasing risk for suffering. Misconceptions about PC often underlie delayed referral to PC. This review summarizes the literature for utilization of PC in lung cancer and focuses on patient benefits, misconceptions, barriers, and implementation.

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