Patients Live Longer With Palliative Care

A new study by Boston researchers found that palliative care given to patients with advanced lung cancer not only eased their suffering but also prolonged their lives.

USA Today reports on the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and led by doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In the study of 151 patients with advanced lung cancer, researchers report that those given early palliative care survived 11.6 months, nearly three months longer than those who received standard medical care.

This phenomenon — that hospice care doesn't simply help people to die, it also helps them to live — is exactly what surgeon/writer Atul Gawande captured so masterfully in his New Yorker piece earlier this month on end-of-life care.

This program aired on August 19, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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