- Cancer Information
- Advanced cancer
- Palliative care
- Common questions about palliative care
- Does palliative care mean I will die soon?
Does palliative care mean I will die soon?
When most people hear the term palliative care, they fear that it means their treatment team has given up hope or they are going to die soon. This is certainly not the case for everyone referred to palliative care. This fear is one reason that some people don’t access palliative care services early – or at all. Palliative care aims to maintain quality of life for people with a life-limiting illness. It is about living in a way that is meaningful to you, within the limits of your illness. It’s not simply about dying.
Some people live comfortably for months or years after a diagnosis of advanced cancer, and can be supported by palliative care as needed. For others, the cancer advances quickly so that their care is focused on end-of-life needs soon after their referral to a palliative care service. Whatever stage you’re at, your palliative care team will adjust your care to meet your changing needs.
There is still a life to be lived and pleasures to be found and disappointments to be had. Living with advanced cancer is a different life, not just a journey towards death.Julie
Podcast for people affected by advanced cancer
Dr Cynthia Parr, Specialist in Palliative Care, HammondCare and Macquarie University Hospital, NSW; Dr Lisa Cuddeford, Clinical Lead, WA Paediatric Palliative Care Service, WA; Dr Laura Kirsten, Principal Clinical Psychologist, Nepean Cancer Care Centre, NSW; Penny Neller, Project Coordinator, National Palliative Care Projects, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Queensland University of Technology, QLD; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; A/Prof Peter Poon, Director, Supportive and Palliative Care, Monash Health, and Adjunct Associate Professor, Monash University, VIC; Dr Kathy Pope, Radiation Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Kate Reed-Cox, Nurse Practitioner National Clinical Advisor, Palliative Care Australia; Juliane Samara, Nurse Practitioner, Clare Holland House – Specialist Palliative Aged Care, Calvary Public Hospital, ACT; Annabelle Solomon, Consumer; Silvia Stickel, Consumer; Kaitlyn Thorne, Manager, PalAssist, Cancer Council Queensland; Kim Vu, Consumer; Rosie Whitford, Social Worker – Grief, Bereavement and Community Palliative Care, Prince of Wales Hospital, NSW.
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