Rae Anne found a lump on the side of her neck while at a concert with friends several years ago. Over the course of a few weeks and several doctor appointments, she was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer. After many rounds of chemotherapy and 35 radiation treatments, she received a call from a palliative care nurse, Eve. At the time, Rae Anne was not familiar with palliative care, but soon learned that it would change her life for the better. In remission for more than three years, and enjoying life with her two children, Rae Anne wants others living with a serious illness to know how palliative care can help them. … Read More
Tag: palliative care conversations
At age 37, April was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She endured 16 rounds of chemotherapy and 30 rounds of radiation, as well as a mastectomy. Her life centered on her two young daughters and the hair salon she ran and owned. The cancer and its treatment were devastating enough, but matters got worse when she had to give up her work at the salon because of symptoms and side effects.
“Being a hairdresser was always something I wanted to be even as a kid. I was the girl putting curlers in my cat’s hair for practice. Not being able to work was really hard,” says April.
Her cancer doctor recognized that April could use an extra layer of support to deal with nausea and hot flashes, pain that made standing difficult for more than a few seconds at a time, and the emotional toll it was taking on her. The doctor referred April to a medical specialty to help her address these symptoms. The ultimate goal was to get her back to the job she loved.
This is April’s Palliative Care Story. … Read More
At a clinic in Dayton, Ohio—which provides chemotherapy treatment to cancer patients—there’s a man known by all as “Rock Man” Willie. When he’s there, Willie stops at each station to chat with people who could use a good distraction. He carries with him small hand-painted rocks he’s designed, and he hands them out to cheer up others who, like himself, are facing cancer and other serious illnesses. In return for these support rocks, Willie only asks for one thing: a smile. … Read More
By Andrew Esch, MD
When living with lung cancer, you are not just living with the disease. You’re also living with symptoms and treatment side effects. Pain, shortness of breath, coughing, nausea, fatigue, and depression can all become unwelcome parts of your life. These symptoms and side effects can stop you from doing the things you enjoy with the people you love; they can make it difficult to keep up with the recommended course of treatment, and they can linger after treatment is over. … Read More
By Andrew Esch, MD
Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease for patients and their families, with a heavy burden of pain and other symptoms. If you are living with pancreatic cancer, you don’t have to walk this road alone. Palliative care can help. … Read More
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Beth Popp, MD
A diagnosis of breast cancer is scary. You’re faced with treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. There can be difficult side effects and symptoms caused by the disease and its treatment, such as pain, nausea, fatigue and anxiety. Many can linger and persist afterwards as well. Things can feel overwhelming.
Palliative care can help. When palliative care teams work in partnership with cancer specialists, people living with breast cancer experience reduced symptoms, better communication and other benefits. Once symptoms are controlled, patients can get back to daily activities. They also have someone to help them plan for the future.
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Who Should Attend:
Breast cancer patients, survivors, and their caregivers.
Dr. Beth Popp is a senior faculty member in the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She has dedicated her career to improving care and quality of life for cancer patients. Dr. Popp is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in Internal Medicine and her Medical Oncology fellowship training at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis.
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
By Andrew Esch, MD
When you are living with ovarian cancer, the symptoms and side effects can take a toll. Bloating, pain, nausea and fatigue can stop you from doing the things you enjoy, and can prevent you from keeping up with your treatments. Ovarian cancer can also have a big effect on your emotional health, body image and sexual functioning – all of which can create stress for you and your family. … Read More
For Marion, breast cancer and its treatment brought pain and depression that kept her from the things she loved doing. She was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in 2014. Eventually, Marion’s oncologist referred her to palliative care.
Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people living with serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious 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.
“Since I began seeing palliative care, I am much more aware of living purposefully, of spending my time doing things that mean something,” says Marion. … Read More