This study aimed to compare the characteristics of patients with hematologic malignancies and solid cancers who received palliative care. A total of 124 patients with hematologic malignancy and 3032 patients with solid cancer, who received palliative care consultation services between 2006 and 2010 in a medical center in Taiwan, were retrospectively analyzed. Higher prevalence of oral stomatitis, diarrhea, and hematologic symptoms including infection, fever, severe anemia, and bleeding, and lower prevalence of constipation, abdominal distension, and pain were observed in patients with hematologic malignancies compared to that in patients with solid cancer. The interval from hospital admission to palliative care referral was longer for patients with hematologic malignancy than that for patients with solid cancer. Hematologists should refer patients earlier, and palliative care specialists should understand the specific needs of patients with hematologic malignancy.
Keywords: bleeding; hematologic malignancy; infection; palliative care; solid cancer; symptoms.