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advanced disease, oncology patients, palliative care



  1. Mazanec, Polly PhD, ACNP-BC, AOCN(R)
  2. Daly, Barbara J. PhD, RN, FAAN
  3. Pitorak, Elizabeth F. MSN, FPCN
  4. Kane, Donna MSN
  5. Wile, Sally MDiv
  6. Wolen, Judith MSW, LISW-S


Advances in oncology treatment have prompted the need for a new model of palliative care. The Cancer Support Team, formerly known as the Safe Conduct Team, of the Ireland Cancer Center practices under a new model that emphasizes the variable timing of palliative care needs of patients and families across the cancer disease trajectory. This new model assumes that palliative care is offered in conjunction and as a component of disease-oriented care, but unlike previous models, it does not follow a linear pattern of use. Care needs fluctuate throughout the course of life-limiting disease. In addition, this new model recognizes that as current cancer treatment options improve quantity and quality of life, patient goals of care often include appropriate disease-oriented treatment near the end of life, prohibiting enrollment in hospice based on Medicare regulations. This model of palliative care ensures that oncology patients and families will receive an interdisciplinary plan of care based on their goals and preferences, even if they do not choose hospice care or do not qualify for the hospice benefit.