Rae Anne Reflects: How Palliative Care Sees the Patient as a Person
Rae Anne is on a mission to share how palliative care changed her life—and her family’s—for the better. She’s in remission from stage 4 head and neck cancer, and wants others living with a serious illness, whether cancer or otherwise, to know that palliative care can help them. In her video series, Rae Anne Reflects, she speaks with different members of the palliative care team. The goal is to share the many ways that palliative care adds an extra layer of support for patients and families – from the time of diagnosis, through, and after treatment.
In this new two-part episode, Rae Anne speaks with Dr. Anthony Back, a palliative care and cancer doctor with a particular interest in communication skills. Dr. Back shares how the palliative care team sees the patient as a person and focuses on helping to achieve their individual goals. Rae Anne explains how palliative care helped her and her family manage her symptoms throughout her recovery, and to understand the path forward.
According to Rae Anne: “The oncology part of my treatment was the catalyst to me feeling better, and the palliative care arm of my treatment was what got me back to me.”
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.