Palliative care provides specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses with the goal of improving quality of life for both patients and their families.
The palliative care team focuses on providing patients with relief from the pain, stress, and symptoms of their serious illness – whatever the diagnosis. Their goal is to help patients living with cancer with troublesome symptoms while ensuring that the life they are living is as rich and full of quality as possible.
Palliative care team members are available to support patients and their families and work with other medical professionals to discuss patient prognosis, goals of medical care, and optimal treatment plans to achieve those goals. The palliative care team works together with all of the patient's doctors and caregivers to provide an extra layer of support at any stage in a serious illness.
Studies have shown that early involvement with palliative care results in improved quality of life, better communication of patient wishes, and increased satisfaction with care.