Last week we noted two recent articles addressing palliative and end of life care issues, including an article written from the first-hand experience of Amy Berman, who is both a nurse and an individual living with cancer. In Amy Berman’s recent post on the Health Affairs Blog, she describes palliative care as the “best friend of the seriously ill.” She sat down with us at a recent NCCS Cancer Policy Roundtable to discuss palliative care and living well with cancer.

Amy Berman’s story is inspiring for many reasons, but it is especially notable how self-advocacy and communication played a critical role in her cancer journey. NCCS CEO Shelley Fuld Nasso wrote a recent post emphasizing the need for improved communication surrounding end of life and palliative care issues. In her post, she notes,”There are a number of factors and barriers that explain the disconnect between patient wishes and the care patients receive, including the fragmented health care system, the lack of coordinated care, and reimbursement policies. But one of the biggest obstacles is our cultural reluctance to talk about death.” 

For those who wish to learn more about how palliative care differs from hospice care, this helpful resource is available via Cancer Today.

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