1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, Bankstown, New South Wales, Australia.
2Storr Liver Centre, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia.
3Department of Palliative Care, University of Technology Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
4Department of Medicine, University of Sydney, Camperdown and Darlington Campus, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia.
Early palliative and supportive care referral is the standard of care for many malignancies. This paradigm results in improvements in patients' symptoms and quality of life and decreases the costs of medical care and unnecessary procedures. Leading oncology guidelines have recommended the integration of early referral to palliative and supportive services to care pathways for advanced malignancies. Currently, early referral to palliative care within the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) population is not utilized, with gastroenterology guidelines recommending referral of patients with Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage D to these services. This review addresses this topic through analysis of the existing data within the oncology field as well as literature surrounding palliative care intervention in HCC. Early palliative and supportive care in HCC and its impact on patients, caregivers, and health services allow clinicians and researchers to identify management options that improve outcomes within existing service provisions.