Washington, DC (UroToday.com) Mary Dunn from the University of North Carolina discussed the introduction of palliative care in bladder cancer. Palliative care provided by a specially trained team, is appropriate at any stage of serious illness yet underutilized. This session was engaging and interactive which included presentations by both palliative care and bladder cancer experts focusing on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of disease. 

Lee Hugar from the University of Pittsburgh presented an overview of palliative care. Palliative care is not the same as hospice. Palliative care in urologic oncology was largely founded and studied by Dr. Mount at McGill University which unfortunately has not had significant impact and dissemination in urologic oncology let alone bladder cancer. The non-negligible psychological impact and suicide risk among bladder cancer patients have been previously described. Prior studies have shown marked underuse of palliative care in bladder cancer (3-4%) despite improved psychosocial outcomes with this incorporation of palliative care. Improved use has been shown when palliative care incorporated in a urology clinic as part of the multidisciplinary team.

Presented by: Mary W. Dunn, RN, MSN, OCN, NP-C, The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Lee Hugar, MD, MSC, Resident Physician, The University of Pittsburgh

Written by: Stephen B. Williams, MD, Medical Director for High Value Care; Chief of Urology, Associate Professor, Director of Urologic Oncology, Director Urologic Research, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, TX and Ashish M. Kamat, MD, Professor, Department of Urology, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX at the 2019 Bladder  Cancer Advocacy Network  (BCAN) Think Tank August 8-10,  2019  –  the  Capital Hilton,  Washington, DC, USA