Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses including but not limited to cancer. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness.
At the initial consultation, your doctor will help you and your family understand your disease, what state you are in, prognosis, treatment options, comfort options and answer any questions that arise. All discussion points will be written down for you and your family to use as a reference.
Discussion also takes place around your care and how best to keep you comfortable. Both inpatients and outpatients can receive palliative care.