Shortness of breath is one of the most common symptoms for people living with a serious illness. It can be caused by asthma, cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, or other conditions. Struggling for air can be exhausting and frightening for you and for your caregivers. A palliative care team can help. Palliative care is available at any stage of your disease and the earlier you get it, the better. … Read More
Articles & Stories
Taking five or more prescription medicines (called polypharmacy) is more common than most people realize. Research shows that it is very common among older adults. Usually, this is because the person has several chronic conditions. That’s why health care providers tend to add medicines. The problem? The chances of a poor outcome go up the more medicines you take. Palliative care doctors can make a difference. … Read More
Dan is a former palliative care nurse practitioner, avid hunter, and cyclist who was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia at age 47. Dan received palliative care early in his diagnosis. … Read More
By Andrew Esch, MD
If you have colorectal cancer, you know that your pain, symptoms, and the side effects of treatments can take a toll on your quality of life. Therefore, they can stop you from doing the things that are important to you. They can also lead to unwanted hospital stays. But palliative care can help. … Read More
Cancer specialists (oncologists) recommend chemotherapy in one of two situations. For some cancers, chemotherapy can completely get rid of the cancer with a good chance that it will never come back. Examples include certain types of lymphoma, leukemia and testicular cancer, among others. For most cancers that have metastasized (spread beyond the original cancer site), chemotherapy cannot cure the cancer. However, chemotherapy may be helpful in shrinking the cancer, improving or completely eliminating distressing symptoms caused by the cancer for a period of time and helping you live longer and with a better quality of life. The use of chemotherapy in these situations is called palliative chemotherapy. … Read More
When you’re living with a serious illness, you may be experiencing physical pain. Treating that pain is crucial to your well-being and quality of life. Why? Managing pain not only makes you feel better, but it helps you to stay on the treatment plan for your illness. Pain makes recovering harder. … Read More
When living with a serious illness, it’s important to know that feeling easily and constantly tired—or fatigued—is a common symptom. In fact, many people experience fatigue, no matter if they are living with cancer, COPD, kidney disease, or another serious illness. Fatigue may make you or your loved one feel forgetful and unable to stay focused or have energy to do everyday things. This may include activities like seeing friends, pursuing hobbies, or even pursuing treatment for the serious illness. … Read More
Whether you have recently learned that your child is living with a serious illness (like cancer or a genetic disorder), or you received the diagnosis years ago, it is never easy to hear this news. Plus, running around from doctor appointment to doctor appointment is tiring and stressful. It can make you and your family feel out of control—at a time when you want to be in the driver’s seat.
Pediatric palliative care can help. … Read More
If you’re living with a serious illness like cancer, heart failure, and so many others, it’s easy not to recognize the symptoms of anxiety or depression. You may think it’s normal to feel sad or worried because of your diagnosis, and you may believe that these symptoms are tied to this. While it’s normal to have days when you’re feeling blue, if these feelings stick around, you’re having trouble sleeping or eating, or you’re not enjoying hobbies the way you normally do, something is wrong. Palliative care can help. … Read More
June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community’s voices, culture, and civil rights. In honor of Pride, we spoke with Dr. Noelle Marie Javier, who is a palliative care doctor and a woman of transgender experience. She works with patients every day who are living with serious illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease.
In our conversation with Dr. Javier, she shared a few things that people who identify as LGBTQ+ may want to keep in mind when visiting a palliative care doctor (or any other doctor, really!). … Read More