Background: Advanced cancer produces multiple symptoms as patients progress through their disease trajectory. Identifying, measuring, and providing therapy for uncontrolled symptoms becomes important because disease-altering therapies may be no longer possible. Symptoms other than pain that cause distress in patients with cancer include delirium, dyspnea, anorexia, nausea, and fatigue. Precise management of these symptoms can lead to the best possible quality of life and lessen distress. This article reviews current management strategies of these symptoms. Methods: The epidemiology, mechanisms, assessment, and therapies of common symptoms in the advanced cancer population are reviewed. Results: Identifiable approaches facilitate symptom management in advanced illness. Conclusions: Using a systematic approach to symptoms in advanced illness can improve the quality of life and lessen distress among patients with cancer and their families, friends, and caregivers.
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