Improving Palliative Care for Cancer: Summary and Recommendations


Report at a Glance

  • Report Brief. Improving Palliative Care for Cancer (PDF)

When Americans get cancer, and particularly when they die from it, they are likely to be in pain and suffer from a host of other symptoms because the available palliative care is inadequate. The IOM National Cancer Policy Board, in a report Improving Palliative Care for Cancer, examines the barriers - economic, policy, social and scientific - that keep people from getting good palliative care, and proposes a series of steps that could improve this situation.

The board expanded on its 1999 recommendations about ensuring quality care for cancer patients, and on those made in a 1997 IOM report on end-of-life care, which was the first comprehensive, evidence-based report on these issues. This new report focuses on management of cancer-related symptoms and timely referral to palliative and hospice care.