Aims: The aim of the study was to investigate possible differences in access to the service, symptomatology and therapy in relation to age among terminal cancer patients admitted to a home care program. We examined prospectively all 116 terminal cancer patients enrolled in a home care program in 1998, comparing those up to 70 years of age (48 patients) with those above 70 (68 patients). We also compared the age-related characteristics of this population with those of all 348 patients enrolled in the program in 1989-1991. There were no significant differences between the two age groups of the 1998 population in terms of symptoms, tumor site or medication, although NSAID use tended to be greater in older patients, and opioid and anti-emetic use greater in younger patients. Patients up to 70 years of age had significantly shorter survival from admission to home care than those over 70, and a greater proportion had metastases. There were no such significant age-related differences as regards survival and the presence of metastases in patients enrolled 10 years before. In conclusion, among terminally ill cancer patients referred to a palliative home care service in Milan, mostly treated at the National Cancer Institute, the 10-year admission trend showed that palliative care is made available increasingly later, particularly to those up to 70 years of age, in contrast to current recommendations.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
- Home palliative care service
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research