The role of hospice in the management of cancer patients

Torgyik Pál
Egyesített Szent István és Szent László Kórház, Onkológia-Hospice Osztály, Budapest

There is the relationship between the oncological treatment and hospice care proved by the data on morbidity and mortality. Cancer treatment is just partially effective since besides the growing incidence of new patients (90 091 in 2013) in Hungary, the mortality rate is still high (33 278 people in 2013). Revealing the diagnosis of tumorous disease causes an incredible shock for the patients, therefore oncopsychologists have to join to the oncological treatment at a very early stage. They give psychological support to both the patients and their families. By relieving stress and helping to combat the disease, the patients could accept and gradually face to the new situation. The patient keeps hoping as long as the treatment is effective and his/her health does not begin to decline. Today, in most cases the efficacy of the treatment is just temporary and the patient will reach the stage where only the palliative and hospice care can help to maintain an acceptable but provisional quality of life. A new movement started for the terminally ill patients to keep their dignity. Hospice is an integral part of health care with 205 beds, and 75 home hospice care units (in Hungary). To get into the hospice care we describe the patients’ path including the terminal state, agony and death. We also explain the palliative medical and psychological care as well as the other forms of care at home and in the domestic or hospital care carried out within a team-work. The activity of these two types of care must be integrated and mutually supported. Finally we are going to talk about the problems that prevent the acceptable operation in this system.

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