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  • Adult Palliative Care

    Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Care

    The Adult Palliative Care Program, part of the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, 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
      Sometimes, patients and families face difficult choices about future treatments: Does the benefit of treatment outweigh the burdens? Is a particularly risky intervention worthwhile? 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 that meet your goals, 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 health care providers may consider the idea of hospice. This service can help you live as well as possible for as long as possible, manage your symptoms at home, and spend precious time with your loved ones. 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

    James Tulsky, MD, Chair, Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care

    Attending Physicians

    Janet L. Abrahm, MD
    Rachelle Bernacki, MD
    Douglas E. Brandoff, MD
    Andrea C. Enzinger, MD
    John David Halporn, MD
    Joshua Lakin, MD
    Andrew Lawton, MD
    Kathleen Lee, MD
    Charlotta Lindvall, MD
    Lida Nabati, MD
    Elizabeth Rickerson, MD
    Justin Sanders, MD, MSc
    Kristen Schaefer, MD
    Jane deLima Thomas, MD
    James Tulsky, MD, Department Chair
    Irene Yeh, MD, MPH
    Melissa Wachterman, MD
    Haipeng Zhang, DO 

    Nurse Practitioners

    Tracy Daly, NP
    Daniel Gorman, FNP-C, MSN
    Barbara Reville, DNP, NP, Nursing Director, Palliative Care Nursing
    Debra Skoniecki, MS, ANP, ACHPN

    Program Nurse

    Susan Mac Isaac, RN, MSN

    Physician Assistants

    Kate Bacari, PA-C
    Linda Drury, PA-C
    Amy Fang, PA-C
    Courtney Moller, PA-C

    Social Workers

    Eliza Curtis, MSW, LCSW
    Jessica Goldhirsch, MPH, MSW
    Amanda Moment, LICSW


    Bridget Fowler Scullion, PharmD
    Victor Phantumvanit, PharmD

    2016-2017 Palliative Care Fellows

    Kate Brizzi, MD
    David Cheng, MD
    Isaac Chua, MD
    Sarah Fairbrook, MSN, AGPCNP-BC
    Khadidjatou Kane, MD
    Richard Leiter, MD
    Perla Macip Rodriguez, MD

    Administrative Support Specialists

    Labridgette Combs
    Jennifer Dowd

    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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  • For Caregivers

    • patient with her husband Caring for a loved one with cancer? These practical tips and suggestions can help you create a caregiving plan, find community resources, and look after your own well-being.
  • What is Palliative Care?

    • Palliative care is often misunderstood. People may associate it with end-of-life care or "giving up" — especially when facing a serious health challenge like cancer. Here's a closer look at what palliative care is.