Know that you are not alone in your journey in battling cancer. However, your experience with the condition may differ from the experiences of other patients. Your condition and your well-being are impacted by numerous factors including age, culture, race, personality, and your support system. These factors are also instrumental in the kind of palliative care you may need. While palliative care does not treat cancer, it can help provide relief from the physical, emotional, and even psychosocial symptoms the condition brings. Palliative care can start upon the diagnosis of cancer and continue throughout the entire treatment, follow-up until end-of-life.
How Palliative Care Helps Cancer Patients
Palliative care helps improve cancer patients’ quality of life. A patient often feels and lives life better when symptoms are controlled and their voices are heard. Opting for palliative care leads to lower healthcare costs as a result of not staying in hospitals and undergoing unnecessary treatments. There are instances when better care does not mean more treatment. When curative treatment ceases to become an option, palliative care can meet all your needs.
Receiving Palliative Care
Hospitals and cancer centers offer palliative care. They typically employ palliative specialists to provide such care. In some centers, there are usually programs offered where specific palliative issues are addressed. These include pain management, lymphedema, psychosocial problems, and sexual functioning. If you are living in a long-term care facility or at home, a physician or hospice team may provide you with palliative care.
Discuss with your oncologist and your family members your goals regarding care and how palliative care may help improve your quality of life.