Palliative care services are meant to improve the quality of life of patients who have serious health problems including cancer. It aims at reducing the physical as well as a mental problem faced by the patients. It reduces the side effects and other pain caused by the medicine. This service is provided by palliative care specialists and health care practitioners who have undergone special training and certification in this area. This can be continued with curative care as well.
How it helps
This service mainly focuses on relieving pain and other problematic symptoms and addresses the emotional, spiritual, and practical needs of patients. In short, it aims to improve the quality of a patient’s life.
Palliative treatments include physical, medication, nutritional changes, relaxation, spiritual, emotional, social. Side effects of cancer depend upon types and stages of cancer, what medicine is being taken etc. it has immense side effects such as fatigue, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, breathing problems, sleep problems, etc. Under palliative care, anti-nausea medicines are given. Physical therapy and nutritional food are also part of this care to reduce the pain of the patients.
Cancer treatment has a huge impact on the mental status of the patients as well. It can affect the sleeping pattern and lead to depression. Under this care, with the help of exercise, counseling, meditation patients feel comfortable. Cancer also impacts the emotional aspect of a patient. This care helps in controlling different emotions such as sadness, anxiety, or anger.
As per, a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, patients with a serious illness who received palliative care lived longer than those who did not receive this care.
You’ll also need to check with your insurance company to see whether you’re covered and to obtain a list of palliative care doctors, teams, or centers.