Palliative care is a field of medical care focusing on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. It is our job as specialist to help work with or suppress/relieve the symptoms even when the symptoms can’t be removed or cured.
Another important service of palliative care is advance care planning. This is extremely beneficial in cases where the patient can no longer plan or think for themselves. So we help them decide early on how they would be liked to care for should they not be able to speak for themselves.
There are some experts who think palliative care is similar to end of life care, but it is not true. Palliative care can be started early on was a way to relieve oneself from suffering and improve the quality of life. Assistance with managing many unpleasant symptoms is available throughout the course of treatment and recovery.
Why choose palliative care?
Symptoms and side effects can arise and impact your quality of life at any stage of your cancer journey. No matter at what stage these symptoms persist and are not manageable with standard treatment, considering palliative care is the right approach.
There are many benefits of palliative care:[ 1 ]
- Easier transition for family members, healthcare providers, and patients
- Less confusion about the advance care planning outcomes expected by the patient or the family
- Expert symptom management
- Clarification of treatment goals
- In many cases, early palliative care has resulted in longer survival [ 2 ]
Patients should receive palliative care upon diagnosis and along with active cancer treatment at any stage of the disease. The standards particularly emphasize palliative care for those with advanced cancer, but state that patients with early-stage cancer may also benefit. [ 3 ]
What to expect with palliative care?
- You will build a relationship with you and your caregivers
- Symptoms, distress, and pain management
- You will explore your understanding and any needed education about your illness and prognosis
- Clarify treatment goals and future plans
- Assess and support coping needs (psychological counseling and spiritual guidance)
- Assist with medical decision making
- Coordinating with other care providers
Lifestyle changes, diet, nutritional supplements, psychological support, counseling, vitamins, and exercise may begin before cancer treatment and will continue through your treatment. Start with palliative care and be prepared to face your cancer head on with ZenOnco.io.
We deem to train our healthcare experts following US standard of care for integrative oncology.
Talk to your oncologist and tell them that you would like to consider palliative care with ZenOnco.io. We will make sure we work with them for you and your future in this journey.
- BCCT: Palliative Care
- Get Palliative Care. What Is Palliative Care? Center to Advance Palliative Care.Viewed March 9, 2018.
- Center to Advance Palliative Care. Talk to your doctor: how to get palliative care? Viewed May 5, 2018.
- New national guidelines seek to improve access to palliative care for people living with serious illness. National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. October 31, 2018. Viewed December 31, 2018
- Caring Connections: Palliative Care Resource and Educational Material for Health Care Professionals
- Center to Advance Palliative Care: Frequently Asked Questions
- Jacobs JM, Greer J et al. The positive effects of early integrated palliative care on patient coping strategies, quality of life, and depression. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2017 Nov;35(31_suppl):92-92.