Purpose of review: To present the model of the Supportive Care in Cancer Unit (SCCU) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of Milan.
Recent findings: In the last few years, there has been a debate on different models of integration of palliative care in oncology, on early palliative care, supportive care, supportive and palliative care, continuous care, end-of life care and pain management in the trajectory of cancer.
Summary: The aims of the SCCU of the NCI of Milan are mainly four: to collaborate with the individual specialists of NCI through integrated and ancillary activities while implementing a supportive therapy to treat the side effects, toxicities of oncological therapies, and comorbidities in the patients from the time of diagnosis and throughout the oncology treatment period; to assess all patients’ needs through Italian validated versions of assessment tools, in order to ensure early care of the patient in a holistic approach; to support family members, survivors and healthcare professionals; and to promote research (pharmacological and non-pharmacological) and educational programs.
Our integrated model of medicine in oncology, which we define ‘supportive care’, is part of the clinical history of the patients, from the time of diagnosis and during oncological treatments, to facilitate their psychological well being and improve adherence to treatment protocols.
Supportive Care in the Cancer Unit, IRCCS Foundation, National Cancer Institute, Milan, Italy
Correspondence to Carla Ida Ripamonti, MD, Head, Supportive Care in Cancer Unit, IRCCS Foundation, National Cancer Institute of Milan, Via Venezian 1, I-20133 Milan, Italy. Tel: +39 02 2390 3644-3383; fax: +39 02 2390 4847; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org