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1.  Facilitating Early Integration of Palliative Care into Breast Cancer Therapy. Promoting Disease-Specific Guidelines 
Breast Care  2011;6(3):240-244.
To comply with patients' needs as well as ASCO and WHO recommendations, our institution aims to integrate palliative care (PC) early in the course of breast cancer (BC) therapy. The evaluation of relevant pilot project data revealed that these recommendations were too vague to trigger PC integration. Therefore, a standard operating procedure (SOP) was developed by our interdisciplinary working group to provide disease-specific information to overcome the ambiguity of the WHO recommendations and guide PC integration. Literally, the SOP states that ‘Specialized PC is recommended regularly for all BC patients without curative treatment options, specifically for patients with i) metastasized and inoperable, or ii) locally advanced and inoperable, or iii) relapsing BC, who are receiving intravenous chemotherapy’. This SOP for the first time presents disease-specific guidelines for PC integration into comprehensive BC therapy by defining ‘green flags’ for early integration of PC and delineating PC from senology assignments. Although disease-specific SOPs have also been developed by this working group for other malignancies, the decision when to first integrate PC into BC therapy differs substantially because of the different clinical characteristics of the disease.
PMCID: PMC3132974  PMID: 21779232
Comprehensive cancer care; Palliative medicine; Early integration; Quality of Life
2.  Fungating Wounds – Multidimensional Challenge in Palliative Care 
Breast Care  2011;6(1):21-24.
The management of fungating, malignant wounds is a challenge for the palliative care team. Open, malodorous, poorly healing lesions are obvious signs of underlying disease. In addition, pain and functional impairment remind the patients of their incurable illness. A multidimensional approach is necessary to meet the needs of these patients and to improve quality of life. Although achieving wound closure is rarely a realistic goal, modern techniques of wound management can help to minimize odours and exudates. Specialist knowledge in palliative care is needed to provide adequate pain control. Psychosocial support may help patients to cope with the situation and their limited abilities.
PMCID: PMC3083267  PMID: 21547022
Local wound management; Odour; Pain; Bleeding; Necrosis
3.  Pain Management and Symptom-Oriented Drug Therapy in Palliative Care 
Breast Care  2011;6(1):27-34.
Patients with advanced life-limiting disease often suffer from symptoms that considerably impair their quality of life and that of their families. Palliative care aims to alleviate these symptoms by a multidimensional approach. Pharmacotherapy is an essential component. The objective of this review is to give an overview of symptom-oriented drug therapy for the most important symptoms in palliative care. Leading symptoms that affect quality of life include pain, dyspnea, nausea and emesis, weakness and disorientation. Careful examination and history taking help to understand the individual mechanisms underlying these symptoms. Specific pharmacotherapy provides an efficient way to achieve symptom control in the context of palliative care.
PMCID: PMC3083268  PMID: 21547023
Palliative care; Symptoms; Pain therapy; End of life; Opioids

Results 1-3 (3)