What Is Palliative Care?

May 23, 2012

Body

One of the key initiatives at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers is our Palliative Care Team. Palliative Care is an area of medicine that focuses on reducing suffering, improving quality of life for individuals with a serious illness and ensuring patients and their families are comfortable during and after treatment.

Palliative care is different from hospice care, which is focused on the care of patients as they near the end of life. Palliative care involves a broader effort that includes a variety of interventions that are aimed at improving quality of life. These care strategies include the optimal management of symptoms such as pain, fatigue and nausea, and attention to problems like anxiety or depression.

Our Palliative Care Team integrates a variety of treatment approaches

and helps caregivers, patients and their families focus their decision making on the overall goals of care. Patients can receive this care while also undergoing treatment aimed at curing their illness; they do not have to pick one approach or the other. Palliative care has been shown to have a positive effect on the well being of seriously ill patients, including both physical and emotional benefits.

At Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, all our doctors and nurses know how to administer palliative care and we have physicians and nurses who have special expertise in this area. We encourage our patients and families to talk with our caregivers about palliative care.

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