Palliative Care is defined as a specialty of medical care that focuses on helping people living with life-threatening conditions, including illnesses such as cancer and heart failure, so that they may achieve a better life. The main goal of Palliative Care is to improve patients’ quality of life (both adults and children) and the quality of life of their relatives, who may be experiencing difficulties and enduring challenges connected to the disease. It’s no secret that care coordination is crucial during all stages of the illness.
Palliative Care is typically carried out by a multidisciplinary team of compassionate and skilled medical professionals, nurses, and physicians, using a medical caregiving strategy. Overall, the focus is improving the quality of life by reducing the suffering of patients with severe and often terminal illnesses. Although hospice and Palliative Care are often compared and considered similar, they differ significantly. Palliative Care offers comfort care, Psychological support, and emotional well-being with or without a focus on healing.
Palliative Care in cancer patients
Palliative Care plays a crucial role in providing comprehensive support and advanced Care planning for patients with cancer. It focuses on managing symptoms, addressing emotional and psychological needs, removing the caregiver burden from families, and sharing responsibilities, ensuring effective communication between patients, their families, and healthcare professionals.
Palliative Care can be offered at any point throughout the disease’s trajectory, starting with the diagnosis, and it is not only limited or available for end-of-life care.
Why is Palliative Care important for patients with cancer
Early detection and management of cancer is vital for a higher probability of complete recovery, treatment success, improved quality of life, and longevity. Symptom management is a crucial component of palliative treatment for patients with cancer.
Pain, exhaustion, nausea, and shortness of breath are just a few of the terrible symptoms cancer can produce. Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals collaborate as part of a palliative care team to evaluate and successfully manage these symptoms. Various interventions, including prescription drugs, physical therapy, and alternative therapies, are used to lessen pain and increase the patient’s comfort.
According to its latest data, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide and one of the most dangerous diseases that are more common than you thought.
WebMD, a well-known medical website, cancer is recognized as the abnormal growth of cells in the body that can be treated but not cured and is the second most prevalent cause of death worldwide after cardiovascular disorders.
Patients and their families frequently experience dread, anxiety, despair, and other emotional difficulties after a cancer diagnosis. Counseling, psychotherapy, and support groups are essential and are provided by palliative care teams with a hospice approach to assist patients in navigating these challenging emotions. Additionally, they support developing coping strategies and resilience in the face of the cancer journey.
What are the benefits of Palliative Care for patients affected by cancer?
There are many different types of palliative Care and Supportive Care that patients can receive. This type of Care can include:
● Medication to treat side effects and symptoms
● Other therapies to address symptoms and adverse effects, like surgery or radiation therapy
● Rehabilitation and physical therapy
● Nutritional adjustments
● Assistance for the soul and the spirit, including therapy and relaxation techniques
● Support for children or family caregivers
Palliative Care is provided by an interdisciplinary team that can include physicians, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, psychologists, social workers, chaplains, and dietitians. Palliative Care can be provided in various contexts, including hospitals, outpatient, skilled nursing, and home settings. Although an important part of end-of-life care, Palliative Care is not limited to individuals near the end of life.
Another vital component of palliative Care is facilitating effective communication and shared decision-making. Palliative care professionals act as advocates for patients, ensuring that their values, goals, and preferences are respected and incorporated into the treatment plan. They help patients understand their prognosis and treatment options, enabling them to make informed decisions aligned with their personal priorities.
This collaborative approach empowers patients and their families, leading to more meaningful and patient-centered Care.
Is Palliative Care the best option available?
Palliative Care specialists function as patient advocates, making sure that their beliefs, objectives, and preferences are recognized and accounted for in the treatment strategy.
They aid patients in comprehending their prognosis and available treatments, empowering them to make well-informed decisions that are in line with their own priorities. By empowering patients and their families, this collaborative approach produces more meaningful and patient-centered Care.
Palliative Care and its association with hope and spirituality
According to studies, having hope can positively affect both the patient and their family members.
Spiritual Care is also integral to palliative Care for adults with cancer. It acknowledges patients’ diverse spiritual and existential beliefs and seeks to address their spiritual needs.
Palliative care professionals facilitate discussions on meaning, purpose and finding hope in the midst of illness. They connect patients with chaplains or other spiritual leaders as needed, fostering a holistic approach to care that encompasses the mind, body, and spirit.
In summary, Palliative Care improves patients’ and their families’ overall quality of life by addressing physical symptoms, emotional and psychological needs, communication and decision-making, social and practical obstacles, and spiritual well-being.
It acknowledges the significance of comprehensive Care, ensuring that patients receive all-encompassing assistance catered to their needs. Palliative Care is a crucial part of cancer treatment because it offers comfort, compassion, and dignity as patients and their loved ones face the rigors of the illness.
At Star of Texas Hospice, our mission is honoring life by providing comfort, care, and compassion to those we serve. We offer Palliative care services to help people living with serious illnesses live their lives to the fullest. If you or someone you know is living with a serious illness, please contact us to learn more about our palliative care services. You may call us at 713-385-1865 for a FREE CONSULTATION.