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Tag Archive: palliative care

  1. 5 questions to ask about end-of-life care

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    In a new piece published in The Courier-Post, Compassion & Choices’ Chief Program Officer Kim Callinan and hospice physician Brad Stuart discuss a recent survey on end-of-life-care from the John A. Hartford Foundation, California Health Care Foundation and Cambia Foundation.

    The survey found that doctors have a difficult time time talking with their patients about end-of-life issues, and that a lack of training in talking with patients and their families about death is one barrier to better care.

    Callinan and Stuart argue that empowering patients to ask the right questions could change this dynamic. They suggest patients ask the following questions about their diagnoses:

    • My condition: Is my disease curable? Will it shorten my life? By how much? What’s likely to happen as it progresses?
    • Benefits of treatment: How will this treatment help my condition? Will I be cured or will the disease come back? What are the odds either way? Will treatment return me to normal function?
    • Burdens of treatment: Does this treatment have side effects? What will my quality of life be like during treatment? What activities will I have to give up? How much time will I spend in the hospital or going to doctors’ appointments
    • Other treatment options: What are my other treatment options? What happens if we focus on slowing the disease without going for a cure? Or focus on comfort rather than fighting the disease? Or do nothing? What about hospice
    • Doctor’s personal view: A 2014 study by physicians affiliated with the Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, and Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System showed that almost 90 percent of doctors would choose to forgo aggressive treatment at the end of their own lives. Most would want to die gently with few interventions. So patients should also ask their doctors: “What would you do if you had my diagnosis and prognosis?”

    Click here to read the full article in the Courier-Post.

  2. Callinan and Crowley: The Care Planning Act Could Help Cancer Patients

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    Compassion & Choices Chief Program Officer Kim Callinan and Media Relations Director Sean Crowley wrote a piece published in The Augusta Chronicle about the communications problems between doctors and patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. The piece references the 2016 CancerCare Patient Access and Engagement Report, which identified several communication issues:

    • Less than half of respondents said their care team knew their end-of-life wishes.
    • About a third or less of the respondents said they felt adequately informed about other treatment options their care team considered; the responsibilities of their caregivers; and clinical trial opportunities.
    • Between 22 and 37 percent of respondents said that additional information about palliative care, living wills or hospice care would have been helpful to them.

    Compassion & Choices supports the Care Planning Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide patients with terminal, chronic, or progressive illnesses with information and resources to better understand and plan their treatment plans. The bill would, among other things, provide:

    • education about the likely course of their disease and foreseeable care decisions that may be needed in the future when the patient is likely to be unable to make decisions;
    • assistance in describing their goals of care, values and preferences;
    • discussion about treatment options, including curative, palliative and hospice care, and their comparative benefits and burdens;
    • assistance in evaluating treatment options to identify those that most closely align with the patient’s goals of care, values and preferences, and creating a “concrete and actionable” plan of care based on those goals, values and preferences.

    Click here to read the full article in The Augusta Chronicle, and click here to send a letter to your senators supporting the Care Planning Act.

  3. Landmark Cancer Study Reveals Problems with Health Care System

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    A landmark report illustrating the many physical, emotional, financial, practical and informational needs cancer patients experience during and after clinical treatment was released Wednesday by CancerCare, a national nonprofit organization that provides free psychosocial support, education and financial assistance to anyone affected by cancer.

    The 2016 Patient Access and Engagement Report reflects the perspectives of more than 3,000 patients diverse in ethnicity, income, education, geography, age, insurance, cancer type and treatment stage regarding their understanding of their diagnosis and access to care, participation in treatment planning, communication and engagement with providers, insurance and financial issues, the impact of cancer on quality of life, and issues related to survivorship.

    The report’s findings include:

    • About one-third of respondents reported having inadequate information about the benefits, potential side effects and the goals of their treatment plan.
    • Receiving a cancer diagnosis prompted significant numbers of respondents under age 45 to have end-of-life discussions with family members. However, a significant proportion of respondents ages 45 and older had not communicated their wishes on these topics to family members or friends.
    • Respondents from all age groups had widespread misconceptions about palliative and hospice care.

    Full survey results are available at www.cancercare.org/accessengagementreport.

     

  4. Join us for a discussion in Atlanta

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    We sent the following message about an informative presentation featuring one of the country’s leading oncologists to our supporters in Georgia. If you’d like to attend this event, sign up here:

    Friend,

    Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be terrifying for both the person who is diagnosed and their family, but having the proper information at your disposal can make navigating the medical system much less intimidating. That’s why we’re hosting a presentation that will give you the tools to advocate for the care you or your loved one desires.

    Compassion & Choices will host an informational presentation by Dr. John Laszlo, MD, former director of clinical programs at Duke Cancer Center and national VP for research of the American Cancer Society.

    WHAT: The Person with Cancer and the Family: Questions, Options, Resources, and Care
    WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, 1911 Cliff Valley Way, Atlanta
    WEHEN: Sunday, May 15, 2016 3:00-4:00 p.m.

    Click here to RSVP for this event.

    Dr. Laszlo’s presentation is titled The Person with Cancer and the Family: Questions, Options, Resources, and Care. While at Duke, Dr. Laszlo authored Understanding Cancer, an important piece of medical literature describing what cancer is, how to seek treatment, and how to best talk about cancer with your doctors.

    Feel free to bring a friend to this discussion with one of the country’s leading oncologists.

    For questions or further information contact Perry Mitchell at 404-373-0842 or [email protected]

    Click the link below to RSVP:

    https://www.compassionandchoices.org/dr-laszlo-presentation

    Thanks for all you do,

    Roland

    Roland Halpern
    Cultivation Manager