Palliative Care in Critically Ill Cancer Patients

  • Ali HaiderEmail author
  • Ahsan Azhar
  • Kevin Madden
Reference work entry


Critically ill cancer patients who are at risk of dying often experience distressing physical, psychosocial, and spiritual symptoms. Provision of specialized palliative care services to these patients and their families is associated with improved quality of life, higher completion of advance directives, increased utilization of hospice care, and decreased use of non-beneficial life-prolonging interventions. In this chapter, we have discussed the management of most common physical symptoms experienced by critically ill patients such as pain, dyspnea, delirium, and thirst. Other topics discussed in this chapter are related to the integration of palliative care and its associated barriers, communication, spiritual care, family meetings, withdrawing and withholding medical technology, impending death, and anticipatory guidance.


Palliative care Supportive care Intensive care unit End of life Advanced cancer 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Palliative Care, Rehabilitation and Integrative MedicineThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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