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History

Manipal Comprehensive Cancer Care Centre is a comprehensive cancer care service situated at the Shirdi Sai Baba Cancer Hospital and Research Centre of the Kasturba Hospital, Manipal. It is the second cancer institute to be established in Karnataka and one among a handful of cancer centres in India that is providing affordable, quality and ethical cancer treatment. The Department of Radiation Oncology is one of the oldest cancer department established in 1974. In the last four decades, the Manipal has pioneered in cancer care and has helped thousands of people from the region and across India. The departments of surgical and medical oncology are one of the earliest departments in Karnataka, which was established in 1993. The palliative medicine department was set up in 1999.

Profile

The Palliative Medicine department at Kasturba Hospital provides access to competent care for patients within the environs of a tertiary oncology care centre. It is aimed at benefiting the patients, right from diagnosis of cancer through their difficult journey through the different phases of the diseases including the end of life phase.  The department helps in managing complex pain and physical symptoms, psychological, social and spiritual issues of patients and their families. It facilitates improvement in the quality of life, shared decision making, goals of care discussion and advance care planning. Providing continuity of care, support, early assessment and management of symptoms and augmented physical well-being makes the therapeutic experience more acceptable to the patient and increases the possibilities of completion of the cancer therapies. The department also helps patients with a terminal illness to have a peaceful, dignified end of life care experience.

Specialties

The department of palliative medicine situated at the MCCCC provides both oncology and non-oncology palliative care. Among the oncology palliative care, the department specialises in early palliative care in various site-specific cancers. Among non-oncology palliative care, the  department specialises in renal supportive care, neurology palliative care and ICU/ER palliative care.

Palliative and supportive care

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At the MCCCC the palliative care services see around 30 inpatients daily. 80% (around 24) of them are admitted under various oncology specialities and referred to palliative care for symptom management, psycho-social support, communication, goals of care discussion, discharge planning and continuity of care. Ambulatory patients on active cancer treatment with palliative care needs are referred to as palliative care outpatients. In both these situations, patients receive concurrent oncologic management and quality of life improvement strategies. The responsibility of care is shared between oncology and palliative care providers where the patient and their families have a unique advantage of simultaneous care. Patients with advanced cancer where continuing cancer treatment is considered futile and patients develop a critical illness due to complications of advanced cancer are referred to hospice admission and end of life care.

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