At Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, palliative care is not just a program to relieve the pain and symptoms associated with cancer. It is a way of providing care that truly gives patients hope — however they may choose to define it.
Trusting relationships between patients, their families and their care teams are the cornerstone of palliative care. Guided by the philosophy that HOPE is about Helping Oncology Patients to be Empowered, the palliative care team works to alleviate the stress caused by a cancer diagnosis and allow patients to focus on healing.
These specially trained physicians, nurses and support staff, including social workers, case managers and clinical navigators, have the credentials to coordinate care for those with chronic illnesses and the compassion to do it in a manner that is respectful of their wishes.
The guidance and support provided through palliative care enhances patients’ understanding of their treatment choices, enables them to better tolerate medical treatments, and empowers them to make informed decisions about their care.
This extra layer of support can be provided along with curative treatment throughout the cancer journey – from diagnosis through end of life. It systematically uses rather than duplicates relief services designed to address a patient’s physical, emotional, spiritual and psychosocial needs.
From services provided in the clinical setting to home care, hospice and other community-based resources, palliative care ensures a highly coordinated, consistent cancer care experience.