Palliative Care

CHICAGO—Both patients and practitioners realize the importance of psychosocial issues, but today’s cancer care often fails to address them. Steps to resolve this problem are under way, according to experts at an education session.

CHICAGO—Oncology nurses know that nutrition interventions can help their patients, both during and after active treatment. But the evidence is scant, and personalizing it for each patient can be a challenge. To help, nutrition experts provided useful tips for nurses, along with a discussion of the evidence.

BOSTON—Treating patients with cancer who are morbidly obese presents unexpected challenges according to Vita Norton, RN, BSN, OCN, and Michelle Howard, RN, BSN, of Mass - achusetts General Hospital in Boston. Data indicate that obesity significantly increases the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers and is associated with worse outcomes.

BOSTON—Recognizing steroid-induced hyperglycemia early and addressing it promptly can prevent significant ad - verse effects associated with this complication. Educating patients on the importance of and methods for maintaining good blood glucose control helps mitigate damage to the vascular system and kidneys from hyperglycemia. It also lessens susceptibility to infection, a complication of hyperglycemia that is of serious concern in immunocompromised patients.

SAN FRANCISCO—A novel smallcaliber metal stent can provide a low-risk means of palliation for severe malignant dysphagia, according to investigators who have created these stents and are now testing them in trials. The results were presented at the 2011 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium by Stephen Kucera, MD, of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida, where he is an interventional endoscopy fellow.

A palliative medicine consultation can be most effective with symptom management and improving quality of life when compared with anesthesia-pain medicine, according to a pilot study. In an assessment of symptom management, investigators found the both methods are effective in improving cancer pain. Patients in the palliative-medicine group showed clinically significant improvement in 8 of 19 symptoms compared with 3 of 19 in the anesthesia-pain medicine group.

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