Written by 6:36 pm Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care in Cancer?

palliative care in cancer

The moment one learns about cancer, the world changes for the person. It takes time to accept that one has cancer before one can actually muster the courage to fight it and undergo all the treatment procedures. The same happens for a senior too. Coming to terms with cancer is a great challenge. After the initial phase of shock and denial, palliative care experts encourage seniors to find their inner strength and fight against all odds. Palliative care experts provide a senior with an extra layer of support. With the help of a variety of care measures, palliative care experts bring hope to the lives of patients. Improving the quality of life is the chief objective. Cancer does not always take a person’s life. Palliative care also helps cancer survivors return to a normal flow of life.

Palliative care for cancer can be divided into three phases. First is care during diagnosis. Depending on the type of cancer one has, symptoms emerge. Hence, during diagnosis, a senior often has to undergo several rounds of medical tests. It gets tedious for a senior to show up for a test, wait for result, and get disappointed or scared by the outcome. Care experts help relieve the symptoms and also counsel the seniors, so that they can gather the mental strength to combat cancer.

The second stage is prognosis. The treatment for cancer takes a toll on the physical and mental energy of a senior. It can also affect a senior socially and financially. There can be serious side effects as well. Furthermore, the duration of treatment may be extended. That is to say, the treatment may last longer than estimated by the doctor and patient. During this phase, palliative care experts responsively help in reducing the symptoms and side effects, provide emotional support, and even provide hospice care. Seniors in their final stages of life usually want to die peacefully, with respect and dignity, surrounded by family and friends. The best home care services in Gurgaon make every effort to fulfil the final needs and wishes of terminally ill seniors. From arranging family visits to serving one’s favourite dishes, arranging trips, arranging rides to the hospital, spiritual support, and a whole range of concierge services, assisted senior living houses that specialise in palliative care for cancer patients offer the right amount of care designed around the needs of the senior.

The third part involves recovery from surgery. Cancer treatment often includes more than one surgery. Apart from anxiety and stress, prescription drugs, supplements, and pain are part of the recovery process. The post-treatment phase is usually a combination of treatments. For example chemotherapy is combined with bone marrow transplant or radiation therapy to remove the cancer. It may or may not bring the desired results. Thus a senior who has undergone cancer surgery dwindles between hope and despair. Immediate post operative care for cancer includes 24×7 monitoring, administrative medicine from time to time, checking ventilation and air circulation level, checking the vitals and oxygenation, and level of consciousness- and reporting the same to doctor.

The team of palliative care specialists consists of oncologists, certified nurses with special training in cancer management, personal caregivers who have extensive knowledge of handling cancer patients, registered dieticians, physical therapists, psychologists, and social workers. The entire team makes it a point to look after the emotional health of the senior, check for new symptoms, and ensure that the senior is in the best possible health. 

Medical documents are kept handy at all times. This is a precautionary step in case the senior needs to get admitted to the hospital if health deteriorates suddenly. Usually, after a cancer surgery, the respiratory, circulatory, neurologic, and sensory functions are monitored continuously on an hourly or daily basis. Experts in palliative care never let the senior feel that his or her life is out of control. They are specially trained to recognise the symptoms even before they manifest themselves. Thus, if a senior with cancer is staying at a premium assisted living facility that has a dedicated palliative care service team, they can look forward to optimum comfort and care as well as remedies. 

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Last modified: March 13, 2023