The Oncology and Palliative Care Department has been an integral part of the CUF Infante Santo Hospital for the last 30 years. Over this period, the department staff has worked closely with surgeons and other medical specialists to ensure integrated patient care and multidisciplinarity. Complementary services such as chronic pain consultation, a psycho-oncologic team and nutritional and physiotherapeutical support have also been available for more than 10 years. In 2012, the hospital set up a dedicated area to palliative care. The unit, headquartered in a specific inpatient ward, ensures specialised acute care for adults with chronic and progressive disease.
The Oncology and Palliative Care Department has a strong focus on clinical care for adult patients (with solid tumors or hematological malignancies), but is also committed to research and teaching (pregraduation students and posgraduation residents). The facilities of the department include a fully staffed Hematology/Oncology outpatient clinic for administration of cancer therapies to outpatients, also serving as a site for clinical research and therapeutic trials.
All complementary activities (Chronic Pain, Psycho-oncology, Nutritionist, Physiotherapist and image support) are provided to our patients during the different stages of their illness. Staff also provide support to patients' families/caregivers.
The Oncology and Palliative Care Department treats approximately 300 new patients per year, and has been performing hemato-oncology for the last 30 years. This experience of treating patients with solid tumors or hematological malignancies has allowed the department to specializse in the following areas: lung cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer and lymphomas.
The survival results are reported and published in the National Cancer Database. The team has developed specific interest in psycho-oncology studies and has published results in this area. The centre is also involved in clinical trials, namely: gastric carcinoma – a common disease in Portugal.
Palliative and supportive care
The Palliative Care Unit is dedicated to adult patients with chronic and progressive diseases, whatever the stage of the underlying disease is. Specific training and experience in Palliative Medicine ensures the best response to situations of uncontrollable physical and non-physical symptoms.
These patients are admitted in a dedicated palliative inpatient ward. A specialised Palliative Care team also provides the following services:
- An outpatient clinical service for ambulatory patients that are taken care by other physicians
- An inpatient consultative service that can help speed-up hospital discharge in cases of strong symptomatic patients and assure proper follow-up (including a dedicated inpatient acute PC unit (PCU) with a 24-hours/365 days admission policy).
- Staff at the PC unit support, by phone, all patients that have been discharged and follows patients until death as well as families in bereavement.