An integrated model for breast and palliative care
Evidence & Practice    

An integrated model for breast and palliative care

Carole Farrell Nurse and allied health professions research fellow, School of Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, and consultant editor, Cancer Nursing Practice
Tracey Coleby Macmillan breast palliative care lead, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, and editorial advisory board member, Cancer Nursing Practice

The clinical management of patients with advanced breast cancer is complex and patients’ progress is often unpredictable, creating challenges for nursing care in this specialty. However, there is strong evidence that patients who progress quickly through two lines of treatment for secondary breast cancer may be in the last year of their life. New national drivers for end of life care highlight the importance of identifying patients who are in their last year of life to determine their needs, concerns and priorities for care, and to ensure appropriate community support is in place. At one cancer centre this has led to changes in clinical practice using an integrated approach with palliative care and holistic needs assessments. There have been significant benefits for patients and their families, including a reduction in hospital admissions during end of life and improved symptom management. Communication with GPs and community nurses has also been enhanced, which provides benefits for patients and clinical staff.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2016.e1346


Received: 23 August 2016

Accepted: 24 August 2016

Published online: 03 September 2016