Palliative care is a specialised form of supportive care that seeks to improve the quality of life for cancer patients. It alleviates cancer’s physical and mental symptoms and treatment. Cancer patients receive customised therapy to manage pain, nausea, exhaustion, anxiety, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Patients and their families receive emotional and psychological assistance as they navigate cancer diagnosis and treatment decisions. Cancer patients’ palliative care might be integrated into their treatment plan. Cancer patients’ health and well-being during treatment are its goals.
Important components of palliative care:
Symptom Management: Palliative care prioritizes managing physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, shortness of breath, exhaustion and other illness or treatment-related discomforts. Medications and other therapies relieve these symptoms.
Emotional Support: Palliative care providers help patients and their families cope with psychological issues, anxiety, despair and loss.
Communication and Decision-Making: Palliative care specialists help patients, families and doctors communicate openly. They advise patients on treatment alternatives, goals and end-of-life desires.
Family Support: Palliative care supports carers and loved ones throughout serious illness. Counselling, education, and caregiving support are examples.
When a patient has a severe or life-limiting illness that causes physical, emotional or psychological distress, palliative care may be required. This care focuses on enhancing their quality of life through the treatment of symptoms, management of discomfort and provision of emotional support. It can be administered at any stage of the ailment, not just at the end of life.
Improved Quality of Life: Palliative care relieves pain, manages symptoms, improves well-being and provides emotional support. This often improves cancer patients' lives.
Pain and Symptom Management: Palliative care providers help patients manage pain, nausea and tiredness.
Enhanced Emotional and Psychological Support: Cancer patients often struggle with anxiety, despair and other emotions. Palliative care helps patients and family cope with these psychosocial components of the illness through emotional support and counselling.
Improved Communication: Palliative care encourages honest communication between patients, families and healthcare practitioners, resulting in improved treatment and care decisions.
Reduced Hospitalizations: By treating symptoms and providing care in the patient's home or hospice, palliative care can reduce hospitalisations.
Palliative care is available from diagnosis through death. Patients can receive cancer treatment while receiving palliative care.
Hospice begins when the focus moves from curative treatment to quality of life, unlike palliative care, which can begin at any stage of cancer treatment.
Recent study indicates that including palliative care into cancer treatment after an advanced diagnosis improves quality of life, mood, and survival.