When people first hear the words “you have cancer,” they are often experiencing pain, stress and other symptoms. Then they must face the side effects from treatment at the same time they juggle the many doctors, nurses and other professionals who care for them.
Palliative care is specialized medical care that provides patients with serious illnesses relief from the pain and other symptoms from a disease such as cancer. Palliative care uses a team-based approach to coordinate care and give patients an extra level of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage of a disease, and studies show that it can lower costs without reducing the services patients receive.
Palliative care sees the person beyond the cancer treatment. It is all about treating the patient as well as the disease. It’s a big shift in focus for health-care delivery — and it works. We need to educate our elected officials on the need for palliative care legislation.
Volunteer, American Cancer Society
Cancer Action Network