Palliative care is given throughout a patients experience with cancer. It should begin at diagnosis and continue through treatment, follow-up care, and the end of life. Palliative care is given in addition to cancer treatment. However, when a patient reaches a point at which treatment to destroy the cancer is no longer warranted, palliative care becomes the total focus of care. It will continue to be given to alleviate the symptoms and emotional issues of cancer. Palliative care providers can help ease the transition to end-of-life care. Cancer centers and hospitals often have palliative care specialists on staff. They may also have a palliative care team that monitors and attends to patient and family needs. Cancer centers may also have programs or clinics that address specific palliative care issues, such as lymphedema, pain management, sexual functioning, or psychosocial issues. Palliative care addresses the emotional, physical, practical, and spiritual issues of cancer. Hospitals, cancer centers, and long-term care facilities provide palliative care. Patients may also receive it at home. Physicians and local hospitals can provide the names of palliative care or symptom management specialists. Family members may also receive palliative care. Research shows that palliative care improves the quality of life of patients and family members, as well as the physical and emotional symptoms of cancer and its treatment.
Last date updated on July, 2014