3 Reasons To Suggest Palliative Care For A Loved One Struggling With Cancer

It can be difficult watching a close loved one struggle with cancer, especially when the oncologist cannot find a treatment option that will eliminate the cancer. Because of this, you may want to suggest palliative care for your loved one. This type of care is often referred to as end of life care, and its main goal is to make the cancer patient's life more enjoyable, comfortable, and satisfying. Here are three reasons you should consider looking into this.

It Is Available For All Cancer Patients

Palliative care is often compared to hospice care, yet it is quite different. Hospice care typically comes in to help a person during his or her last days or weeks on this earth, but palliative care is not just designed for people that are nearing death. It can actually be used by people with any type of cancer, and it doesn't have to involve cancer patients that are nearing death.

The goal of palliative care is to help the person get through cancer treatment easier, with less discomfort, and with more enjoyment. It can be extremely helpful for cancer patients, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) even recommends that it be included with the treatment plans for cancer patients.

Most insurance companies even cover the costs of palliative care for people suffering with cancer, or any other type of major disease or illness.

It Makes Life Better

One of the reasons palliative care exists is because suffering with a major disease can be hard for a person to cope with. Not only does cancer cause physical issues, it can also leave a person with emotional and spiritual struggles. When a person is going through cancer treatment, he or she may feel:

  • Weak and tired
  • Hopeless and sad
  • Unsure of the future
  • Dependent on others

When you combine all these feelings, it can make life rough and miserable, which is why palliative care is so important. When you hire a team to assist a loved one through cancer treatment, the palliative team will come in and meet the needs of this person. To do this, they will meet with the person to determine what he or she needs. From there, they will begin providing care and services to help improve the person's quality of life.

This service can make the oncologist's job easier, which is important because then the doctor can focus on finding the right treatment options for the person, instead of trying to provide comfort to him or her.

They Provide The Services Needed

One of the big benefits of palliative care is that it is not limited to a single type of service. It actually includes a large variety of services, and each will help your loved one cope with the disease he or she is trying to fight. To provide all these services, it often requires a team of people working together. This can include having the following types of people on a palliative care team:

  • Doctors and nurses – The doctors and nurses involved in the case will primarily be there to offer the actual medical treatment and to try to ease the patient's pain and physical discomfort during the treatment.
  • Social workers – A social worker is often included in the team to address the person's emotional issues through the treatment.
  • Chaplain – A lot of people turn to spirituality when they are diagnosed with a major illness, and this is why a chaplain or some type of minister may be part of the team.
  • Therapists – If the treatment is causing a loss of mobility, a physical therapist could assist to help the person with this issue.
  • Dietitian – It can also be hard to know what to eat during cancer treatment, which is why palliative care typically includes services from a dietitian.

If you would like to see your loved one have a better life during cancer treatment, talk to him or her and the oncology clinic about palliative care. It can make a big difference in a cancer patient's life.