- Cancer Information
- Advanced cancer
- Palliative care
- Key questions about palliative care
- How can palliative care help?
How can palliative care help?
The palliative care team is there to help make life easier for you, your family and carers in a variety of ways, including:
- If you’re living at home, the team can call or visit regularly. This can reduce feelings of isolation and fear, help your carers look after you, and keep you out of hospital (if that is your wish).
- The team can help dispel any myths and misconceptions about advanced cancer you or your family and carers have.
- Your care is usually coordinated by one person who communicates with the team on your behalf.
- The team can help you to make treatment decisions and to prepare for the changes that lie ahead.
- Adjustments around the house can make things easier and safer for you, your family and carers. The team can suggest suitable equipment and aids (e.g. a shower chair).
- The team can assist you with planning for the future, such as thinking about the type of care you may need and where you would prefer to receive care.
- Your palliative care service may offer a number you can call for advice in an emergency at any time of day or night.
- The team can provide emotional support – a social worker, counsellor or psychologist can help you work out your goals and how to achieve them. These goals may be specific end-of-life wishes, but can also simply involve getting the most out of each day (e.g. enjoying time with friends and family).
- The social worker or counsellor can help you and your family deal with loss or grief. Counselling can be worthwhile to help you deal with the changes advanced cancer brings.
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.
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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
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