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Cancer Treat Rev. 2007 Nov;33(7):616-21. Epub 2007 Jan 11.

Palliative care in adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Hematology-Oncology, Ziekenhuisnetwerk Antwerpen-Middelheim, Lindendreef 1, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium.


The cure rate of cancer in adolescents is high but between 10% and 40% of them will develop incurable disease depending on tumor type and prognostic factors. These patients will need palliative care defined as supportive care to optimize comfort, function and social support of the patient and the family. Palliative care should include attention to symptom control, psychosocial and spiritual issues and should be given by a multidisciplinary team. Palliative care in adolescents should also take care of the specific physical and psychosocial developmental changes in this age group. Furthermore, specific spiritual, ethical and legal issues have to be taken into account.

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