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01-12-2015 | Hematologic cancers | Book chapter | Article

3. Palliative Care for Patients with Haematological Malignancies

Authors: MD Bernd Alt-Epping, MD Karin Hohloch

Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg

Abstract

Tremendous therapeutic advance has been made in treating patients with haematological disease during the past decades. Despite this, very many patients will eventually die from their disease, and another number of patients will die from complications and side effects of the therapeutic regimen itself. Given the burdensome and disease-specific course of most haematological malignancies, very little is known about the specific clinical, nursing and psychosocial needs of patients suffering from incurable and advanced haematological disease. Therefore, this chapter will on the one hand seek to provide haematologists with knowledge on the assessment and multi-professional care of this particularly vulnerable group of patients and to demonstrate how palliative care structures may help in supporting the care for patients with incurable haematological disease. On the other hand, this chapter will provide palliative care physicians and teams with a basis of knowledge on the biology, the therapy and the prognostic trajectories of different haematological entities, enabling those of us who work in specialised palliative care to specifically support these patients and understand the complex clinical situations that differ markedly from those encountered in patients with solid tumour entities.

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