“One of the most important changes in our tumor board that’s occurred over the last decade or so is we bring patients to tumor board who have failed, who have persistent, recurrent disease,” he said. It was, in part, a practical consideration, he added, because patients would ask the surgeon, who would say that no more surgery should be done; then they would see the radiation therapist, who would say there were no more options. This way, everyone is talking about a case together.
—Carol Bradford, MD
“The patients and their families need to be part of the decision to treat,” he said. “The elephant in the room is this business of treating people with interventions that are potentially harmful, which you just can’t expect to work. The patient needs to understand the potential for harm. We need to recognize this and move on to symptom relief.”
“There are patients who we see every week who can’t be helped by any [non-palliative] intervention. And this is the intervention that helps: Somebody should help at home. Somebody should help them with their nutritional needs and their pain needs and their anxiety needs…. It is so essential to multidisciplinary care.”