Cancer is a dreadful disease whose name itself gives shock to the patient. Although it can be treated to a certain extent but the suffering associated with its treatment is a nightmare. That is why palliative care is given to the patient with an aim to make patient as comfortable as possible during the course of treatment.
Palliative care is designed to give symptomatic relief to the patient, control the side-effects of illness or treatment and improve quality of life of cancer patients. In addition to these, palliative treatment also manages the psychological, social, and spiritual problems of the patient.
Goals Of Palliative Care
- Treat symptoms that may have arisen due to cancer or as side-effects of treatment, including pain, nausea, breathlessness, insomnia, and other physical issues
- Manage emotional and social needs, including anxiety, depression, and relationship issues
- Address spiritual needs or concerns
- Address practical needs, such as transportation, insurance questions, employment and financial concerns
- Provide support for family, friends, and caregivers
When Should Be Palliative Care Given To The Patient?
Palliative care should start at diagnosis and be continued throughout all stages of the disease.
Tools Of Palliative Care For Cancer
- Drugs to ease pain. Our Pain and Palliative Care Specialist can guide and help patients and their family to address various aspect of pain. Oral Morphine and fentanyl patch prescription is under monitored care of palliative doctors.
- Drugs or supplements to ease side-effects of treatment
- Oxygen therapy with supplemental oxygen tanks to help with shortness of breath
- Counselling to lower stress or anxiety of the patient as well as family
- Nutrition advice to keep patient’s weight, strength and energy levels high
- Physical therapy teaches techniques to the patient so that he can better perform day to day activities
- Meditation, exercises, or yoga for patient relaxation
- Therapeutic massage to rejuvenate patient
Benefits Of Palliative Care For Cancer
- Makes patient feel better and stay active during treatment
- Manages side-effects of cancer treatment
- Facilitates as high a quality of life as possible
- Helps cancer treatments do a better job
- Can be curative as well as life-supporting treatment
- Improves survival outcomes
- Increases immunity levels
- Improves communication between patient and family members
- Maintains hope and stick to principals of ethics.