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Palliative and hospice care in gynecologic cancer: a review.

Despite the increasing availability of palliative care, oncology providers often misunderstand and underutilize these resources. The goals of palliative care are relief of suffering and provision of the best possible quality of life for both the patient and her family, regardless of where she is in the natural history of her disease. Lack of understanding and awareness of the services provided by palliative care physicians underlie barriers to referral. Oncologic providers spend a significant amount of time palliating the symptoms of cancer and its treatment; involvement of specialty palliative care providers can assist in managing the complex patient. Patients with gynecologic malignancies remain an ideal population for palliative care intervention. This review of the literature explores the current state of palliative care in the treatment of gynecologic cancers and its implications for the quality and cost of this treatment.

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