Palliative Care: Treating the Symptoms of Cancer
Side effects of cancer and its treatments are often hard to bear. As much as the cancer needs treating, even more so does the one suffering. The approach to treating symptoms is called palliative care. This type of care involves relieving or reducing symptoms as well as giving a high quality of life to patients.
What is Palliative Care?
Receiving treatment for cancer and its nasty side effects at the same time can help patients have a better quality of life.
Palliative treatments consist of:
- nutritional support
- relaxation techniques
- spiritual support
- emotional support
Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are all considered palliative treatments as well. Understanding the goals of your chosen cancer treatment is important. Your treatment plan should involve not just yourself, but your family and friends.
Goals of Palliative Care
The goals of palliative care include:
- Treating symptoms such as pain, nausea, loss of breath, insomnia, and other physical issues that may arise.
- Helping patients and caregivers understand the diagnosis and treatment plan needed.
- Guidance for making treatment decisions.
- Liaison with the patient’s other doctors. Providing referrals to other health care providers when needed.
- Giving support for the patient’s emotional and social needs, spiritual needs, and practical needs.
- Providing support for caregivers, including family members and friends.
When to Begin Palliative Care
Palliative care should begin at the beginning of your diagnosis. Starting treatment early can help alleviate what symptoms are there and the ones to come. Your palliative care can be administered by your oncologists, but don’t forget other people in your life that can assist. People such as your friends, family members, spiritual leaders, nurses, and many others can lead you through this time in your life. Palliative care takes a village, and that village is there with Choice Cancer Care.