The Duke Cancer Care Research Program (DCCRP) began with a simple observation:
Having cancer is hard, and patients suffer tremendously through the entire course of cancer, from first diagnosis through survivorship or end of life. Their suffering is not only physical, but also emotional, spiritual, and interpersonal. Sometimes treatment itself makes the experience of cancer harder. Interfacing with the health system can be difficult and unwieldy; it often overwhelms patients at a time when they are most distressed. The health system focuses everything on the disease and healthcare providers, rather than on the patient and family.
Dr. Amy Abernethy created the DCCRP to restore the patient as the focus of healthcare. The DCCRP’s purpose is:
To alleviate the suffering caused by cancer through developing new ways of caring for cancer patients that enhance patients’ quality of life, better manage commonly experienced symptoms, treat the whole person in body/mind/spirit, and improve the quality of cancer care.
In the world of academic medicine, the DCCRP approach turns traditional oncology on its head. Rather than narrowing in ever closer in pursuit of a cure or an understanding of the disease, DCCRP asks, “How can we make each cancer patient as well as possible, in the present moment, in his or her own experience, and within the context of state-of-the-art medical treatment?”
DCCRP activities have a broad scope. They encompass symptom management studies, developing new models of care, building research capacity, and ensuring quality of care.
DCCRP offers four key deliverables:
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Study Challenges Value of Oxygen Therapy in End-of-Life Care
Millions of patients with advanced disease in palliative care settings receive oxygen therapy to help them breathe more easily. But a new study from Duke University Medical Center, published in The Lancet, says roughly half of them don't benefit from the intervention says Dr. Amy Abernethy...Read the press release
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