When a disease has progressed beyond medical help, patients are given supportive and symptomatic care, so that in the terminally ill patients, they can live with less pain and dignity.
This is true in cases where the disease has reached its last few stages or the patient is termed terminally ill. Professionals have realized that going through this process is not only trying on the patient, but more on their families. Knowing that you might or are definitely losing a loved one within a certain time bracket is extremely difficult to deal with. This is where palliative care came into the picture about thirty years ago.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is comfort care given by a multi-disciplinary team, who provide the patient with pain free life in the terminal stages of their illness. To palliate, means to control symptoms of an illness or reduce it. Palliative care focuses on slowly or temporarily relieving terminally ill patients from their symptoms. It also encompasses stay and care for the patient and their family as they deal with the ordeal of possibly losing someone.
Palliate Cancer & Palliative Chemotherapy
Palliative care is given to improve the quality of life of terminally ill patients, who are beyond cure. The aim is to manage symptoms, so that they do not cause distress to the patient.
In cancers, palliation is used throughout the treatment. It begins at the stage of diagnosis, through treatment, follow up and end of life care.
The extent of having to palliate depends on the stage of the disease as well. Certain cancers, for example, can be extremely painful to treat. For these reasons palliative care is sometimes combined with treatment for the illnesses. In the case of cancer, palliative chemotherapy is used for one of two purposes.
The first kind of palliative chemotherapy is for patients who are dealing with a lot of pain and distress from the effects of the medication and treatment. This includes discomfort from the treatment or psychological distress due to side effects of medication. Palliative chemotherapy is also used for terminally ill cancer patients to give them more time and try to slow down the cancer from growing. In this process, the patient is given treatment to palliate and merely extend the time they have.
How Does Palliative Care Help Me?
As a patient it is important to realize that your pain and disease also affects your family deeply. And sometimes it is hard to admit the extent of what you are going. You might not be comfortable sharing the details of your pain or discomfort to protect your loved ones from feeling helpless or stressed.
In such cases, it is important to have a professional who you can open up to completely. This person can help you not only fight your illness but strengthen you psychologically as well. You will get this help through palliative care.
Palliative Care for Families
Palliative care allows the family to stay closer to the patient and be around in case of emergencies as well. This can be an especially depressing and stressful time for everyone, and can lead to psychological distress. The professionals involved are also responsible for the psychological well being on the patient and family. Palliative care for families is really important to help them heal as well.
Are you or your loved one dealing with a life threating illness? Fight it today at Columbia Asia Hospital!
Tags: what is palliative care , palliative chemotherapy , palliate , Cancer , terminally ill patients , Diseases