News & Scope Handai Hospital No. 75
Alleviating Pain and Distress of Patients and Families – Palliative Care Center Opens –
Treatment of cancer has advanced by combining surgical therapy, drug therapy, and radiation therapy. The quality of life for cancer patients can also be improved by incorporating palliative care soon after the diagnosis of cancer. Therefore, the Oncology Center was established in April 2008 in order to integrate the various departments involved in cancer diagnosis and treatment at our hospital and implement efficient management, with the aim of qualitatively and quantitatively improving drug therapy, radiation therapy and palliative care. The Center includes three departments: the Department of Chemotherapy, Department of Palliative Medicine and Department of Radiation Therapy. The Center is expected to make great contributions to improvement in the level of medical care level for cancer patients, and to the professional development of oncologists (specialists in drug therapy, radiation therapy and palliative care for cancer). The Oncology Center building was opened in September 2015 in order to further improve the functioning of the Oncology Center, with the aim of providing advanced care by experts on cancer, including cancer diagnosis, clinical examination, chemotherapy, cancer consultation, genetic counseling, a medication room, and genome examination.
The palliative care team was established in April 2004 to improve palliative care for cancer patients. Members of the palliative care team include doctors in charge of physical symptoms and psychiatric symptoms, a pharmacist certified in palliative drug therapy, specialists in cancer nursing, and medical social workers. They provide support in various situations that cause distress to patients and their families after a diagnosis of cancer, including alleviation of the physical and psychiatric symptoms that accompany cancer, support for making decisions on treatment policy, and family care. Currently, intervention is undertaken at the request of the clinical section in charge, mainly for patients who have been hospitalized. By conducting palliative care screening for hospitalized cancer patients, it is possible to identify patients who are suffering physically and mentally at an early stage and respond to, including consultation with experts. The palliative care needs of patients found through screening are wide ranging, and they are addressed in cooperation with the Social Service Department, the Cancer Rehabilitation Team, the Cancer Counseling and Support Center and others.
Public lectures on cancer treatment are held for the general public with the cooperation of each clinical section. A forum on the theme of cancer treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors was held in December 2017.
We provide consultation on anxiety and questions about cancer to patients both in and out of hospital and their families. Consultation can be conducted by telephone, personal meeting or fax.
Referrals of palliative care outpatients from outside this hospital are not accepted. Referrals from within this hospital are considered concerning patients who had intervention by the palliative care team during their hospitalization.
The palliative care team is intended to help cancer patients who are in the hospital. If a cancer patient who is in the hospital is having pain or distress, please consult a doctor or nurse in the ward.
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