[Extract]: The origins and early development of palliative care focussed on patients with cancer, apart from sporadic developments in a few non-malignant diseases such as MND and HIV. In the UK, this has been compounded by the setting of palliative care outside the National Health Service, principally funded by cancer-related charities who, at the time were instituted to relieve the suffering associated with cancer. When the modern hospice movement began, the course of malignant disease was seen as more predictable, with a defined palliative phase when anti-cancer treatments were no longer indicated. In the UK and many areas of the world where it was first adopted such as the Canada, USA, mainland Europe and Australia, this led to the traditional model of palliative care services, involved only in people with a prognosis of a few weeks or months. As a result, services have focused primarily on cancer leading to service and symptom management inequalities for equally needy patients with non-malignant diseases.
Boland, J., & Johnson, M. J. (2013). End-of-life care for non-cancer patients. BMJ supportive & palliative care, 3(1), 2-3. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjspcare-2013-000446