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If you or a loved one is affected by cancer, and you need more information about palliative care, please call our Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20.
Palliative care aims to give patients the best possible quality of life in the advanced stages of terminal cancer.
Palliative care is planned by a team of health professionals who care for& the patient's physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs.
- Combines medical, nursing, psychological, social and spiritual care so that care is centred around the concerns which most affect the person at any given time.
- Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms.
- Regards dying as a natural event and does not prolong treatment when it is no longer beneficial.
- Does not include deliberate ending of life.
- Offers support for families and friends during a person’s illness and in bereavement.
- Can be provided in the home, a hospital or a hospice setting.
Palliative care services work with the local doctor and doctors and nurses from the hospital or clinic—they do not take over all the care and treatment, but work alongside the persons usual health care team to plan care. Palliative care can be provided in the home, the hospital, or a dedicated unit such as a hospice.
A hospice is a place that provides day care and longer-term residential palliative care services. It is a place that has hospital facilities but a homelike atmosphere, where specially-trained staff care for people with life-threatening illnesses. A person may go into a hospice to have pain or other symptoms brought under control, to give the person caring for them a break, or to spend their last days or weeks in a suitable environment. Most people go into a hospice for a short time and then return to their home.
The information available on this page should not be used as a substitute for advice from a properly qualified medical professional who can advise you about your own individual medical needs. It is not intended to constitute medical advice and is provided for general information purposes only. See our Disclaimer.