Integrating palliative care in oncology: the oncologist as a primary palliative care provider

Cancer J. 2013 Sep-Oct;19(5):373-8. doi: 10.1097/PPO.0b013e3182a76b9c.


The provision of comprehensive cancer care in an increasingly complex landscape necessitates that oncology providers familiarize themselves with the application of palliative care. Palliative care is a learnable skill. Recent endeavors in this arena have demonstrated that providing palliative care is part and parcel with providing compassionate and high-quality cancer care, specifically as it pertains to physical and emotional outcomes for patients and their caregivers alike. The basic tenets of providing palliative care emphasize: frequent and honest communication, routine and systematic symptom assessment, integration of spiritual assessments, and early integration of specialized hospice and palliative care resources as a patient's circumstances evolve. This article will endeavor to review and synthesize recent developments in the palliative care literature, specifically as they pertain to the oncologist as a primary palliative care provider.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology / methods*
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Palliative Care / methods*