The 'Multidisciplinary care principles for advanced disease' (PAD) aim to improve care and quality of life of patients with advanced disease while maximising comfort and functioning. The PAD focus on the importance of continuity of care, coordination, and the involvement of the patients and their nominated caregivers, in the treatment and care planning process.
Advanced disease is defined as: cancer where the goal of treatment and care may not be cure, or where cure is not an option.
Improvements in cancer treatment for advanced disease mean that more patients are surviving longer and many receiving treatment and care. Every patient’s cancer and care will be different. Some patients will live for many more years after a diagnosis of advanced disease, while others may only live for a short time. The needs and issues of these patients with advanced disease include:
- specific psychosocial issues including impact of diagnosis at an advanced stage, poorer prognosis and recurrence
- the management of physical symptoms and side-effects related to the spread of cancer and cancer treatments
- quality of life issues associated with disease progression
- practical issues and support for patients living with advanced disease.