Monday, April 6

You may hear palliative care called comfort care, supportive care or symptom management.

As a cancer patient, how would you wish to receive a special quite health care that helps you – and your family – manage all the physical aspects of a cancer diagnosis, plus the psychological, social, spiritual and practical aspects? in any case , cancer doesn’t just affect your body; it affects your entire life.

“Palliative care is specialized care that focuses on alleviating stress and symptoms of great illness,” says Sarah D’Ambruoso, a NP and palliative care professional at UCLA center .

You may hear palliative care called comfort care, supportive care or symptom management. Whatever you call it, it’s a crucial a part of taking care of individuals who have cancer. In fact, the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommends cancer centers offer palliative care in conjunction with treatment for metastatic disease (cancer that has spread) and for those patients who have many or severe symptoms.

Palliative care doesn’t treat or cure cancer; rather, it’s provided additionally to plain treatment (such as surgery or chemotherapy). consistent with ASCO, patients who receive palliative care at an equivalent time as cancer treatment often have less severe symptoms and better quality of life and are more satisfied with treatment.

“Palliative care brings comfort to people with health problems,” says Brownyn Long, a palliative care nurse at National Jewish Health in Denver. “It are often future or short term.”

[See: Creative Ways Hospitals Reach Diverse Populations.]

Long says palliative care begins with alleviating physical symptoms, like managing pain, shortness of breath, constipation or eating problems. “If you do not feel well physically, it’s hard to try to to other things,” she says. Palliative care also addresses the emotional experience of cancer. “It’s like peeling an onion. [Patients feel] anxious, worried, depressed, fearful, blue.” A multi-disciplinary palliative care team may include a caseworker , therapist or spiritual counselor (or all three) who can help patients navigate these difficult emotional and social waters. Other palliative care team members can assist with the logistical challenges of cancer, like coverage or just helping you understand your diagnosis and treatment options.