Palliative Care for Cancer

Supportive care to improve your quality of life during cancer treatment

Cancer and its treatment can leave you coping with a variety of physical and emotional symptoms. Sometimes, those symptoms can make treatment more difficult or even less effective.

Our palliative care providers play a key role on your Memorial Cancer Institute care team. They work alongside your oncology specialists to treat all aspects of your well-being — not just the cancer.

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is often confused with hospice, or end-of-life, care. But there are important differences between the two. Hospice care is designed to provide comfort to a person who has stopped receiving treatment to prolong their life. Palliative care is supportive care provided to people throughout cancer treatment.

Palliative care offers an added layer of support to you while you navigate cancer treatment and survivorship. The goal is to prevent and relieve pain and other symptoms. We can help improve your quality of life to make treatment more tolerable and effective.

How Palliative Care Provides Comfort

We encourage everyone to include palliative care in their treatment plan, beginning at diagnosis. Our palliative care specialists work closely with your cancer care team to manage symptoms throughout treatment and into survivorship.

We can help improve your quality of life by addressing a variety of needs, including:

  • Pain management: Helping you find pain relief during and after treatment is one of the main goals of palliative care. We use various tools, including medication and integrative medicine techniques, to help you live with less pain.
  • Symptom relief: Cancer and its treatment can cause many unpleasant symptoms. We find ways to help you manage issues such as nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, shortness of breath and sleep difficulties.
  • Emotional support: Navigating cancer treatment and survivorship can be overwhelming. We can connect you and your family with resources to boost your mental and emotional well-being.
  • Decision guidance: We can help you and your family better understand your illness so you can make informed choices about your care.
  • Financial navigation support: We work closely with Memorial Cancer Institute’s cancer support services, including financial navigators. Letting them help you manage insurance and financial concerns frees you to focus on healing.