Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment.
Essential parts of the palliative care
goals of palliative care include:
- Treating symptoms, including pain, nausea, breathlessness, insomnia, and other physical issues caused by cancer or its treatment. Treatment for pain should be available for all patients even in rural or remote areas where specialty care services may be limited.
- Making sure patients and caregivers understand the diagnosis and goals of treatment.
- Providing guidance for making treatment decisions.
- Working with the patient’s other doctors and providing referrals to other healthcare providers as needed.
- Providing support for the patient’s emotional and social needs, spiritual needs or concerns, and practical needs.
- Providing support for caregivers, and other family members and friends.
Cancer and its treatment can cause physical symptoms and side effects. They can also cause emotional, social, and financial effects. Treating these effects is called palliative care or supportive care. Palliative care is an essential part of the care that is included along with treatments to slow, stop, or cure cancer. Palliative care can improve the quality of your life and help you feel more satisfied with the treatment. You may start palliative care at the early stage and continue to receive this type of care through treatment and recovery. For example, cancer survivors who have ongoing or new symptoms or side effects after treatment are completed also may receive palliative care. Your Oncologist may be the first person to talk with you about palliative care.
Depending on the type of care you need, you might see someone at the hospital, in a clinic, or even in your home. For example, you might meet with a social worker or chaplain at the hospital and go to a clinic for physical therapy. Dr. Sulabhchandra Bhamre is a renowned Cancer Specialist in Nashik who helps cancer survivors regarding palliative care.