Chapter 3

Prognostication in Patients Receiving Palliative Radiation Therapy

M.S. Krishnan,    Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Centers, Boston, MA, United States

Abstract

Predicting prognosis in patients with advanced, incurable cancer is one of the most difficult tasks faced by oncologists, and yet it is one of the most vital. Unfortunately, physicians have been shown to have poor accuracy at predicting prognosis. Typical tools that are used for patients with curable cancers are often not applicable in this patient population. This chapter highlights the data regarding the importance of prognostication, physician accuracy, and patient wishes regarding prognosis discussions. It then details factors that can be used to aid in prognosis prediction, ...

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