Key questions about palliative care
There are many misconceptions about the purpose of palliative care and what it involves. Many people think that it is simply end-of-life care, or that it means stopping cancer treatment, or that it is a sign of giving up hope. Our answers to common questions may give you a clearer picture of how palliative care can enhance quality of life for people with advanced cancer.
Learn the answers to these important questions:
- How does palliative care work?
- Does palliative care mean I will die soon?
- How can palliative care help?
- Can I still have cancer treatment?
- Does palliative care shorten or lengthen life?
- When can I start palliative care?
- Who will coordinate my care?
- Will I lose my independence?
- Where will I receive palliative care?
- Do I have to pay for palliative care?
Prof Katherine Clark, Clinical Director, Palliative Care, Northern Sydney Local Health District Cancer & Palliative Care Network, and Conjoint Professor, Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney, NSW; Richard Austin, Social Worker, Specialist Palliative Care Service, TAS; Sondra Davoren, Manager, Treatment and Supportive Care, McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer, VIC; A/Prof Brian Le, Director of Palliative Care, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre – The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Cathy McDonnell, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Concord Centre for Palliative Care, Concord Hospital, NSW; Natalie Munro, Team Leader, PalAssist, QLD; Penelope Murphy, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council NSW; Kate Reed, Nurse Practitioner Clinical Advisor, Palliative Care Australia; Merrilyn Sim, Consumer. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title. We particularly acknowledge the input of Palliative Care Australia and their permission to quote from €œBrian’s Story €_x009d_ in A Journey Lived – a collection of personal stories from carers (2005).
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
The information on this page is also available for download.
Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum
Need legal and financial assistance?
Pro bono services, financial and legal assistance, and no interest loans
Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment
Key questions about advanced cancer
Answers to questions people may have when they are first told they have advanced cancer
End of life
Information for people who have been told that the end of life is near
View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends