Comfort and support is what palliative care can provide to the mesothelioma patient and family. The goal of palliative care is to prevent or treat (as early as possible) the symptoms and side effects of the disease and its treatment. Palliative care is not limited to physical pain and suffering, it also includes psychological, social, and spiritual problems. Curing mesothelioma is not the goal of palliative care medical professionals. Some of the other names for palliative care are comfort care, supportive care, and symptom management.
Palliative care should begin at the beginning of the patient’s journey with mesothelioma. The diagnosis of mesothelioma and the decisions of the treatment options available can be overwhelming. What is important to the patient and their goals should be the focus of treatment. Palliative care allows for the complex communication and focus to be on what the patient wants.
Research has shown that palliative care improves the quality of life of patients and family members, as well as the physical and emotional symptoms of cancer and its treatment.
Palliative care is administered in addition to the treatment that the patient chooses for mesothelioma. It is not one or the other. While the mesothelioma patient is going through the latest treatment options available, their side effects are not being ignored. Palliative care also deals with emotional issues, coping, practical issues, financial implications and spiritual issues – what is the meaning in their life?
Palliative care specialists are usually available at your mesothelioma center.