Palliative Car Referrals and Time Period between Last Chemotherapy and Death in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients in North Queensland. (#205)
Patterns of care for metastatic breast cancer (MBC) including referral patterns to palliative care vary between centres around world. Many patients are referred to palliative care services within 30-60 days of death and many are referred in last days of life.
To describe patterns of care for MBC at a regional cancer centre in North Queensland especially examining: 1) Number of chemotherapy regimens administered 2) Time of referral to palliative care (PCR) after diagnosis 3) Time from PCR to death and 4) Time period between last chemotherapy and death.
Retrospective chart audit of patients with MBC from 2008-11 at Townsville Cancer Centre was carried out. Demographic data including age, date of diagnosis, number of chemotherapy regimen, time period from first diagnosis of MBC to PCR, time period from PCR to death, time period between last chemotherapy and death were identified. SPSS 21 was used to perform the analysis of categorical variables.
Total of 50 patients were identified with MBC. No of patients who received one, two, three and four lines of chemotherapy were 11 (22%), 8 (16%), 5 (10%) and 3 (6%) respectively. Mean time from diagnosis of MBC to PCR was 163.20 days, PCR and death was 198 days and time period between last chemotherapy and death was 92.80 days.
Compared to literature most patients were referred to palliative care earlier and had 3 month chemotherapy free time before death. This study could not answer whether earlier palliative care referral and longer chemotherapy free period before death impacted on survival and QOL.