Oncology physicians must weigh the costs of new, expensive cancer therapies against the benefits and talk with patients about quality of life, says Dr. Thomas Smith, director of palliative medicine at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. He says that palliative care and hospice for end-stage cancer patients can improve quality of life and reduce medical costs and that physicians and hospice providers should work together on making referrals at the appropriate time. "Patients in hospice care and with palliative care tend to live longer rather than shorter," he says.

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