THE SCHWARTZ CENTER ROUNDS
Between Parent and Child: Negotiating Cancer Treatment in Adolescents
Richard T. Penson, Paula K. Rauch, Steve L. McAfee, Barbara J. Cashavelly, Kathy Clair-Hayes, Constance Dahlin, Kara M. Green, Bruce A. Chabner, Thomas J. Lynch, Jr.
Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Correspondence: Richard T. Penson, M.R.C.P., M.D., Instructor in Medicine, Hematology-Oncology, Cox 548, 100 Blossom Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114-2617, USA. Telephone: 617-726-5867; Fax: 617-724-6898; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shortly before his death in 1995, Kenneth B. Schwartz, a cancer patient at Massachusetts General Hospital, founded the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center.
The Schwartz Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and advancing compassionate health care delivery, which provides hope to the patient, support to caregivers, and sustenance to the healing process.
The center sponsors the Schwartz Center Rounds, a monthly multidisciplinary forum where caregivers reflect on important psychosocial issues faced by patients, their families, and their caregivers, and gain insight and support from fellow staff members.
Cancer in adolescents presents an extra dynamic of psychosocial complexity.
The case of a 19-year-old woman with acute myelocytic leukemia is discussed. Her disease was refractory to allogeneic transplantation, and she died with severe graft-versus-host disease.
Ms. P and her mother established very different relationships with the team which supported them through the transitions in her care, and Ms. P was able to die at home, with hospice care. The personal connection with the team enabled a degree of positive adjustment through the nightmare of loss.
The epidemiology of cancer in adolescents and paradigms of care are reviewed.
Psychosocial aspects of adolescence, opportunities for personal growth and support, and the challenge of end-of-life care are discussed.
The Oncologist, Vol. 7, No. 2, 154-162, April 2002
© 2002 AlphaMed Press
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