A Quality Life: How Palliative Care Helps the Patient and the Family
Rae Anne, who was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer after finding a lump on her neck, is back to share more of her story. This time, she joins our podcast to speak with Dr. Diane E. Meier about how palliative care helped change her life—and her family’s—for the better.
If unfamiliar with her story, Rae Anne started chemotherapy and radiation treatments soon after her diagnosis. Later, she received a call from the palliative care team at her cancer center, who met with her and her family to help figure out how they can help. Together, they thought of ways to help Rae Anne feel more like herself, which included communicating with and coordinating care between all of her different doctors, managing her medications, and much more.
Rae Anne shares, “I absolutely attribute palliative care to being able to take next steps, to becoming healthier again. They tied the knot that made everything better.”
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. This type of care focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a specially trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment.
GetPalliativeCare.Org is an online resource for patients and families that focuses solely on providing information on palliative care from the point of diagnosis. At GetPalliativeCare.Org you can take a short quiz to see whether you could benefit from palliative care, and find a nearby provider. The site is provided by the Center to Advance Palliative Care.