What Is (and What Isn't) Palliative Care?


In this episode of the “CURE Talks Cancer” podcast, we spoke with Donald Sullivan, MD, MA, MCR, associate professor of medicine at Oregon Health and Science University and the VA Portland healthcare system, about his research into palliative care and prolonged survival in patients with cancer.

New evidence suggests that palliative care can improve the quality (and the quanity, or length) of life in patients with cancer. But as today's guest points out, the topic is complicated by misconceptions and tends to get an undeserved bad rap. Many patients associate palliative care with end-of-life care or hospice, but that assumption is inaccurate. If we focus on the truth amid all the noise and speculation, we can see that palliative care can be a useful practice that can help patients with cancer improve their health.

Before we take a closer look into this murky, often unfamiliar portion of the cancer journey, we’ll politely ask our listeners to leave their preconceived notions about palliative care at the door. This week on the “CURE Talks Cancer” podcast, we’ll check our baggage and come together on a journey with an expert who has made his life’s work about improving the quality and the quantity of life for patients with cancer—all through palliative care.

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