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Palliative care

Palliative and Hospice Care

Cancer and its treatment often cause side effects. Relieving a person's symptoms and side effects is an important part of cancer care. This approach is called symptom management, supportive care, or palliative care. Palliative care is any treatment that focuses on reducing symptoms, improving quality of life, and supporting patients and their families. Any person, regardless of age or type and stage of cancer, may receive palliative care.

People often receive treatment for cancer and treatment to ease side effects at the same time. Patients who receive both often have less severe symptoms, better quality of life, and report they are more satisfied with treatment. Palliative treatments often include medication, nutritional support, relaxation techniques, spiritual support, emotional support, and other therapies. You may also receive palliative treatments like those used to eliminate the cancer, such as chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation therapy. That is why it is important to understand the goals of each treatment in your care plan. The goals of palliative care include:
Making sure patients and caregivers understand the diagnosis and goals of treatment.
Treating symptoms, including pain, nausea, breathlessness, insomnia, and other physical issues caused by cancer or its treatment.
Guiding 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.

Difference between palliative care and hospice care
Although you may hear “palliative care” and “hospice care” used in similar ways, they are not the same. Palliative care is given at every step of the treatment process. It provides an extra layer of support for people with any stage of cancer. Hospice care is a specific type of palliative care. It is only provided to people with cancer who are expected to live 6 months or less. If you have advanced cancer, your doctor may suggest treatments to improve symptoms or treatments directed at the cancer. If you choose to stop treatment for the cancer, this does not mean you have stopped “fighting” the disease. It also does not mean your healthcare team has given up. Instead, the focus may be on relieving symptoms and allowing for additional support in all areas of your life. When a person decides to begin hospice care, a member of the palliative care team helps with the transition. He or she can also help address the physical and emotional issues that come with that choice.
This site will help you locate a palliative/hospice provider in your area https://www.hospicefed.org/search/custom.asp?id=1139

Visit here for Cape Cod based organizations https://www.belowthebelt.org/home-nursing