Time Is Of the Essence

Poster: Optimizing timing of palliative care referral in platinum resistant ovarian cancer

Lead Author: Jennifer Haag, MD, MPH, Resident, University of Colorado

Palliative care services are often skipped or initiated too late for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer patients

The American Society of Clinical Oncology recommends that palliative care begin as soon as possible after a patient is diagnosed with advanced cancer and no later than eight weeks post-diagnosis. The specific 8-week window allows a palliative care team to sync up with the patient, family members, and caregiver’s needs, desires, and goals—from time of diagnosis, throughout ongoing and often aggressive curative treatments, during disease recurrence as well as long-term survivorship, and when it’s time for end-of-life planning.

While the goal seems crystal clear, this poster presents evidence that direct referral to hospice falls within one month of death—and with no prior palliative care referral.

Take a look at closer look at poster and see what the authors suggest should serves as a stimulus for palliative care involvement trigger.