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CMAJ. 1998 Jun 30;158(13):1709-16.

Palliative care--an essential component of cancer control.

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  • 1Center for Bioethics, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, Que.


Unlike in other nations, in Canada palliative care has its origins in university hospitals. It has subsequently developed in a few Canadian schools as an academic discipline closely linked with oncology programs. Although this model is successful, other faculties of medicine and cancer centres have been slow to emulate it. Today, the situation is rapidly changing, and both palliative care and oncology professionals are re-examining the manifest need for collaborative efforts in patient care, research and education. Palliative care must be regarded as an essential component of cancer care, its principles must be applied throughout the course of the illness and, as in other phases of cancer control, palliative care should be regarded as an exercise in prevention--prevention of suffering. This article discusses practical applications that flow from acceptance of these concepts.

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