• Adult Palliative Care

    Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Care

    The Adult Palliative Care Program at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center helps adults with cancer live as well as possible while facing a serious or life-threatening illness.

    Our Services

    Palliative care can be helpful through all stages of illness. Early on, it can help make medical treatments more tolerable; at later stages, it can reduce suffering, help you carry on with daily life, assist you in planning for future medical care, and provide support for living with a life-threatening illness.

    Palliative care focuses on the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. Our team of professionals aims to provide comfort, preserve your dignity, and help you achieve open communication with your family and caregivers.

    Coping with Cancer Pain: A Handbook for Patients 

    By working with you, your oncology team, and providers in your community, we blend palliative care into your cancer therapy. We provide:

    • Expert treatment of pain and other symptoms
      Pain, nausea, breathing difficulties, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping can make it hard to enjoy life. We can suggest treatments that address these problems.
    • Emotional and spiritual support for you and your family
      A serious illness can be sad and frightening for both patient and family. Talking can be helpful, as can medication. Palliative care can help family members support one another, especially when young children are involved.
    • Help in navigating the healthcare system
      The healthcare system is often confusing and overwhelming. We can help you find resources and figure out what you need.
    • Guidance and support with difficult treatment choices and end-of-life issues
      Sometimes, patients and families face difficult choices about future treatments: Is it better to continue treatment for cancer, or to consider hospice care at home? Are the side effects of a particular therapy worth going through? We can help patients and families think about and discuss these concerns.
    • Help in coordinating care at home and in the community
      Community resources can make it possible for you to receive care at home. We can help you find services, including hospice, and coordinate symptom management and psychosocial support plans with community resources.

    Hospice care

    If your illness progresses despite the treatments you're receiving at Dana-Farber, you and your caregivers may address the idea of hospice.

    This service can enhance the quality of the time you have left and enable you to manage your symptoms and address emotional and spiritual concerns. It can help you spend time with loved ones and live your final days with dignity. We are happy to provide information or a referral to hospice care.

    Psychosocial oncology and palliative care

    The Adult Palliative Care Program is part of the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care. Our teams help cancer patients and their families maintain the best quality of life during and after treatment. Our clinicians include physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and a pharmacist who work closely with you and your healthcare team to provide integrated care and support your unique needs.

    Learn more about the Adult Psychosocial Oncology Program 

    Care Team

    Our expert physicians, nurses, and pharmacist work together with social workers and chaplains to offer compassionate expertise to you, your family, and your oncology team. Our staff is experienced in helping patients and families manage distress in the face of serious illness and at life's end.

    We also conduct research on palliative, psychosocial, and end-of-life issues, and provide training for healthcare professionals.

    Division of Adult Palliative Care
    Susan Block, MD, Department Chair, Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care
    Attending Physicians

    Janet L. Abrahm, MD
    Rachelle Bernacki, MD
    Douglas E. Brandoff, MD
    Lida Nabati, MD
    Sanjeet Narang, MD (Anesthesia/Pain Specialist)
    Elizabeth Rickerson, MD
    Kristen Schaefer, MD
    Kathy J. Selvaggi, MD, MS
    Jane deLima Thomas, MD
    David Thomas, MD
    Irene Yeh, MD, MPH
     

    Nurse Practitioners

    Katie Fitzgerald, RN, BSN, MSN, APRN-BC
    Jennifer Kales MS, ACHPN, APRN, BC, ANP
    Maureen Lynch, MS, APRN, BC, PCM, AOCN
    Lorie Trainor, MSN, APRN-BC

    Physician Assistants

    Linda Drury, PA-C
    Amy Fang, PA-C
    Ian Nagus, PA-C
    Andrea Rines, PA-C
    Kate Westerman, PA-C

    Social Workers

    Phil Higgins, LICSW
    Amanda Moment, LICSW
    Arden O'Donnell, LCSW

    Pharmacists

    Bridget Fowler, PharmD
    Victor Phantumvanit, PharmD

    2011 - 2012 Palliative Care Fellows

    Jensy Stafford, MD
    Anya Lepp, MD
    Kate Nelson, MD (Pediatric)
    Kevin Nguyen, MD
    Eva Reitschuler-Cross, MD
    Jacob Strand, MD
    Brooke Worster, MD
     

    Clinical Administrative Support Specialist

    Suzanne McHale



     

    Contact Us

    If you would like to learn more about our services, please talk with your oncologist or call us at 617-632-6464.

    You can also request a print copy of our brochure Coping with Cancer Pain: A Handbook for Patients by calling the above number.

    If you need to talk to someone about pediatric palliative care, please call the Pediatric Advanced Care Team at 617-632-5042.

     
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