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Palliative care and the management of common distressing symptoms in advanced cancer: Pain, breathlessness, nausea and vomiting, and fatigue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Lesley Henson, Matthew Maddocks, Catherine Evans, Martin Davidson, Stephanie Hicks, Irene Higginson

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-914
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number9
Published20 Mar 2020


King's Authors


Good symptom management in oncology is associated with improved patient and family quality of life, greater treatment compliance, and may even offer survival advantages. With population growth and aging, the proportion of patients with multiple symptoms—both related and unrelated to their cancer—is anticipated to increase, supporting calls for a more routine and integrated approach to symptom management. This article presents a summary of the literature for the use of symptom assessment tools and reviews the management of four common and distressing symptoms commonly experienced by people with advanced cancer: pain, breathlessness, nausea and vomiting, and fatigue. We also discuss the role of palliative care in supporting a holistic approach to symptom management throughout the cancer trajectory.

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