Surgery for Cancer with Option of Palliative Care Expert

Palliative care is medical care designed to improve the quality of life of people with serious illnesses.  Previous research has shown that involving specialist palliative care physicians early in the course of illness improves the quality of life of patients with life-threatening diseases like cancer, and in some cases specialist palliative care lengthens patients’ lives.  However, specialist palliative care has not been carefully studied for patients undergoing surgery for cancer, so we do not know whether specialist palliative care improves the lives of these patients.  To fill this gap in our knowledge, the NIH-funded SCOPE Trial will evaluate the effect of specialist palliative care on quality of life for 236 patients undergoing major abdominal operations for cancer.