Palliative care is interdisciplinary supportive care given to patients who are undergoing treatment for cancer. This means that professionals who are experts in specific areas—such as pain management, counseling, nutrition, and spiritual care—work together to support patients challenged by illness.
Palliative care relieves the physical, psychological, and spiritual distress that can come from cancer and cancer treatments. MedStar Health's palliative care team aims to lessen suffering and improve function and independence for patients who have cancer. Because each patient's concerns are different, your palliative care team will work with you to create a program that is unique to you. This may include counseling, diet recommendations, pain management techniques, and physical therapy. We encourage family members to be involved because cancer treatments often affect the whole family.
Palliative care doctors are specially trained to help patients' pain and other sources of distress. The following are examples of symptoms patients are commonly concerned about when they see a palliative care specialist:
- Loss of appetite
- Respiratory problems