Cancer Patients Live Longer with Hospice and Palliative Care

By Bruce Dalglish of Philadelphia

A recent study from Japan found that cancer patients who choose to receive palliative and hospice care at home tend to live longer than those who remain in hospitals.

The study, which was published in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, looked at 2069 patients, 1582 of whom received hospital-based palliative care, and 487 received home-based palliative care.

The author of the study, Dr. Jun Hamano, of the University of Tsukuba in Japan and his colleagues found that the relative lifespan for patients who died at home was significantly longer than for those who died in hospitals.

When considering whether to transition from hospital to palliative care, patients and their families often have concerns regarding the quality and effectiveness of the home-based care. The research findings serve as an important piece of information demonstrating that the quality of home-based palliative and hospice care is not inferior in any way to that provided in a hospital setting.

For terminally ill patients, the ability to stay at home surrounded by the family and the closest friends is extremely important. Dr. Hamano’s research suggests that doctors shouldn’t hesitate to refer patients to palliative and hospice care as it does not shorten their lifespan, but may even prolong it.

About the Author 

A resident of Philadelphia, Bruce Dalglish has served as the Chairman and CEO of Alliance Hospice and All Caring Hospice since 2005. In this role, Bruce Dalglish oversees the development and strategic direction of both companies. From 2008 – 2013, Bruce Dalglish served on the Public Policy Committee of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

Disclaimer: Alliance Hospice blogs provide education information, not medical advice. Please consult with your medical providers when making end-of-life care decisions.