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National Cancer Data Base - Data Dictionary PUF 2015

Palliative Care

DD_category: 
PUF Data Item Name: 
PALLIATIVE_CARE
NAACCR Item #: 
3270
length: 
1
Allowable values: 
0-7, 9
Description: 
Identifies any care provided in an effort to palliate or alleviate symptoms. Palliative care is performed to relieve symptoms and may include surgery, radiation therapy, systemic therapy (chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or other systemic drugs), and/or other pain management therapy.
Registry Coding Instructions: 
  • Surgical procedures, radiation therapy, or systemic therapy provided to prolong the patient's life by controlling symptoms, to alleviate pain, or to make the patient comfortable should be coded palliative care and as first course therapy if that procedure removes or modifies either primary or metastatic malignant tissue.
  • Palliative care is not used to diagnose or stage the primary tumor.
Analytic Note: 

This data item can be used to distinguish a treatment modality given for curative treatment from the same modality being used strictly for palliation. This item was added to FORDS in 2003.

If patients are admitted to a hospital for palliative care other than surgery, radiation or systemic treatment, the record often does not indicate the underlying reason for the procedure (for example, other forms of pain care). Therefore, when the initial care was elsewhere and the care was not one of these three modalities, it is unlikely the care will be reported in this data item.

Code Definition
0 No palliative care provided. Diagnosed at autopsy.
1 Surgery (which may involve a bypass procedure) to alleviate symptoms, but no attempt to diagnose, stage, or treat the primary tumor is made.
2 Radiation therapy to alleviate symptoms, but no attempt to diagnose, stage, or treat the primary tumor is made.
3 Chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or other systemic drugs to alleviate symptoms, but no attempt to diagnose, stage, or treat the primary tumor is made.
4 Patient received or was referred for pain management therapy with no other palliative care.
5 Any combination of codes 1, 2, and/or 3 without code 4.
6 Any combination of codes 1, 2, and/or 3 with code 4.
7 Palliative care was performed or referred, but no information on the type of procedure is available in the patient record. Palliative care was provided that does not fit the descriptions for codes 1–6.
9 It is unknown if palliative care was performed or referred; not stated in patient record.