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Why Not Palliative Care?

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000462416.17661.92


    Though not a cancer epidemiologist but a clinical epidemiologist, I have a question about Dr. Jennifer Wiler's recent column, “Symptoms: Headache, Blurry Vision, Tinnitus, Photophobia.” (EMN 2014;36[12]:15;

    Her patient with glioblastoma multiforme underwent successful maximal safe resection and received radiation therapy and chemotherapy with TMZ. What is the purpose of surgical intervention rather than compassionate palliative care? After all, there is some extension of life, but there is also recovery time from a major procedure that compromises some of the marginal extension of life.

    Jonathan Mayer, PhD

    Seattle, WA

    Dr. Wiler responds: Thank you for the note, Dr. Mayer. You are correct that palliative care discussions do not occur often enough in modern health care discussions. Patient-centered discussions about goals of care and possible outcomes are necessary.

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