Palliative care relieves symptoms or side effects of treatment and improves quality of life for patients while they are receiving treatment for an illness. This care may also continue once treatment is complete. Palliative care aims to ensure patient comfort whilst remaining aware of patient and family needs, values, beliefs and culture.
You do not need to have a terminal diagnosis to receive palliative care. Palliative care aims to ensure relief from pain, discomfort and many other potential side effects or symptoms while undergoing treatment. Palliative care can begin at any stage of treatment from diagnosis onwards. Your oncologist may request the assistance of the palliative care consultant for pain management and symptom relief.
Palliative care can also be given as an outpatient once a patient has been discharged from hospital or if a patient is attending for outpatient treatment.