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History

Our cancer centre was formed in 1978, and is located within the University Hospital in Perugia, part of the Italian National Health System. The cancer centre, represented together with other oncological sub-specialties by the Medical Oncology Department, is the main centre of the Regional Cancer Network of the Region of Umbria, offering principally active cancer treatment. Furthermore, we also currently have around 30 ongoing clinical trials on active experimental oncological treatments in which we participate.

Profile

Our Oncology Department includes a Ward with twenty beds for inpatients. Generally, most of them are dedicated to supportive care, such as adverse effects of oncological treatments, and palliative care, often for terminal patients. There are three doctors, fifteen nurses and five socio-health workers, as well as a coordinator. Our Day Hospital (DH) has twenty armchairs for therapy and five beds for over-day hospitalisation, the latter are principally dedicated to supportive care or frail patients. There are fifteen doctors, twelve nurses and four socio-health workers, as well as a coordinator and a nurse in charge of welcoming patients on their first visit. We also have the following facilities, a Clinical Studies Operations Centre with three data managers, with thirty trials are currently active and a molecular biology laboratory dedicated to oncology. Nearly all the clinical team has attended courses on supportive care and psych-oncology.
Palliative care education in our department is realized within our periodic update meetings.

Specialities

Our centre uses a "global care" philosophy, with anti-tumour therapy, supportive care and palliative care being strongly integrated. We do not envisage any separation between different types of care or different phases of the disease, likewise, there is no separation among the clinicians involved during care.

In our centre, every patient is usually followed by an oncologist (who is part of a team dedicated to a topic of care) who will be the medical reference point during the entire illness. The patient can contact their oncologist at every moment during the day, furthermore, they can come to our department freely during the day if problems arise. Should a patient's principal oncologist not be on duty, one of the other oncologists of our department will be available.

Palliative and Supportive Care

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We collaborate closely with the Hospice and Home Care service operating in the local area. This service includes a hospice with twelve single rooms, three full-time doctors, eight full-time nurses, ten full-time socio-health workers, two psychologists, one non-profit part time psychiatrist, two full-time physiotherapists and another non-profit part time spiritual assistant. Our Home Care palliative care service includes ten full-time doctors and seven non-profit doctors, nineteen full-time nurses plus seven non-profit nurses, and five part time psychologists, four of which are non-profit.

In our area, we have three non-profit associations who actively work with health care services, offering health service staff with experience in palliative care.
Specialists in palliative care visit the Oncological Day Hospital and the Ward for two hours a day, between three to five times a week, collecting data and sharing information about patients with palliative needs and their relatives, working especially with candidates for hospice care. The Palliative Care specialists work within the Palliative Care service delivering support at home, the hospice and within the territorial and non-hospital services.

Last update: July 2022

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