Improves quality of life for the patient, regardless of cancer stage or diagnosis.
The focus of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of patients. Our goal is to prevent or treat, as early as possible, the symptoms and side effects of the disease and its treatment. We also work to relieve pain and symptoms and offer emotional guidance at the end of life. Palliative care also is known as comfort care, supportive care or symptom management.
We address a range of patients' needs:
- Physical needs: Common physical symptoms include pain, fatigue, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath and insomnia. Many of these can be relieved with medicines or by using other methods, such as nutrition and cancer rehabilitation therapy.
- Emotional needs: Palliative care specialists can provide resources to help patients and families deal with the emotions that come with a cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment. Depression, anxiety and fear are only a few of the concerns that can be addressed through palliative care. Experts may provide counseling, recommend support groups, hold family meetings, or make referrals to mental health professionals.
- Spiritual needs: With a cancer diagnosis, patients and families often look more deeply for meaning in their lives. Some find the disease brings them more faith, while others question their faith as they struggle to understand why cancer happened to them. An expert in palliative care can help people explore their beliefs and values so they can find a sense of peace or reach a point of acceptance that is appropriate for their situation.
- Practical needs: Cancer patients may have financial and legal worries, insurance questions, employment concerns and concerns about completing advance directives. For many patients and families, the technical language and specific details of laws and forms are hard to understand. To ease the burden, the palliative care team may assist in coordinating the appropriate services.
Woman’s Adult Palliative Care team includes physicians, nurses, social workers and other specialists working together to fulfill our patients’ individual needs.
Additional Resource: GetPalliativeCare.org
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