The term “Palliative Care” evokes fear in the hearts of many patients, who view “Palliative and Hospice Care” as one in the same.Yet, they are often distinctly separate specialties of medical care.The goal of Palliative Care with our patients at Alaska Women’s Cancer Care (AKWCC) is to minimize the unwanted side effects of cancer treatment and maximize quality of life throughout the course of care.
Palliative Care simply refers to the Latin root word ‘Palliate’, or, ‘to make better’.In reality, all health care providers should be providing palliative care all the time, and most practices try their best to do exactly that.But the amount of time an Oncologist/Surgeon has to devote to symptom management of each patient is often limited, and he or she spends much of the office visit focused on the therapies that are best for each type of cancer. Little time is left to discuss how these treatments may be affecting your life.
We recognize that surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation can impact many areas of a life including overall health and wellbeing, job satisfaction or performance, income earning, financial expenditures, parenting, education, spiritual and emotional needs and often symptom management.Many patients experience at least some, if not all, of these issues once their diagnosis is made and treatment begins.
Alaska Women’s Cancer Care is dedicated to easing the burden of cancer therapies by expanding treatment through palliative care services to help treat each individual as a unique person, rather than a disease or a diagnosis.Espousing the concept of ‘whole patient’ and ‘whole community’ your AKWCC team works to help you and your loved ones understand what is happening to you, around you, and within you as you go through your treatment.
Palliative care services devote an increased amount of time to their patients; listening to patient and family concerns, conveying these concerns to your care team and addressing these issues with additional treatment and communication modalities.Family meetings, phone updates, video conferencing, and coordination of care with other health care team members are just a few of the integrated services they help to facilitate.
The main goal of the palliative care service is to improve patient comfort and quality of life during and after cancer treatment.Specialty providers may utilize the most up to date medications, physical therapy, spiritual, psychological and social support services to help improve your cancer treatment experience.
For more information visit https://getpalliativecare.org/