Comprehensive cancer care services (also referred to as supportive care services) focus on the prevention and management of the complex and multifactorial impact of cancer and its treatment on patients and their families. This includes management of physical, emotional, spiritual, interpersonal, and social sequelae across the cancer continuum from diagnosis through treatment to post-treatment care. Enhancing rehabilitation, secondary cancer prevention, survivorship, and end-of-life care are also integral to supportive care efforts.
The dramatic impact of cancer and its treatments on patients and families has been qualitatively and quantitatively demonstrated for decades. The evidence demonstrates when supportive care needs are under-recognized and under-treated, patients and families can experience such negative outcomes as increased suffering,1 decreased quality of life,2 reduced compliance with medical treatment,3 longer hospitalizations,4 and the possibility of decreased survival odds.5
Empirical data and accreditation requirements are leading cancer programs to provide multidisciplinary "whole patient" care. In this model, the patient is at the center of the treatment team and the cancer care is increasingly comprehensive, integrated, and interdisciplinary.
Refer to the navigation (at left) to access the services included under the umbrella of comprehensive cancer care.
1. Bonacchi A, Rossi A, Bellotti L et al. Assessment of psychological distress in cancer patients: a pivotal role for clinical interview. Psycho-Oncology 2010, Published online in Wiley Interscience. DOI: 10.1002/pon.1693.
2. McFarland DC, Holland JC: The management of psychological issues in oncology Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2016;14(12):999–1009.
3. Brett J, Boulton M, Fenlon D, Hulbert-Williams N J, Walter FM, Donnelly P, et al. (2018). Adjuvant endocrine therapy after breast cancer: a qualitative study of factors associated with adherence. Patient Pref Adherence. 2018;12:291–300. http://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S145784
4. Mausbach BT, Irwin SA. Depression and healthcare service utilization in patients with cancer. Psycho‐Oncol. 2017; 26:1133–1139. doi: 10.1002/pon.4133.
5. Giese-Davis J, Collie K, Rancourt KM, et al.: Decrease in depression symptoms is associated with longer survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer: a secondary analysis. J Clin Oncol. 2011;29(4): 413–20.