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Palliative Care for Patients with Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In a paper published in JAMA Oncology, Ambereen K. Mehta, MD, MPH, of the University of California, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Thomas J. Smith, MD, of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, discussed the necessity for palliative care services for patients with cancer to continue amidst the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommends that every patient with advanced cancer see a palliative care team within 8 weeks of diagnosis. However, as a result of the pandemic, palliative care teams have now had to adjust their best practices to fit the needs of the current environment.

“Through ongoing national conversations, palliative care practitioners are asking whether we should be adding exposure risk to the patients we see, who are often the most vulnerable,” the authors wrote. “As a field, we must not…

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