Palliative care can benefit patients suffering from breast cancer in a number of ways. Palliative care doesn’t treat cancer, but it can help patients feel more comfortable and enjoy a better quality of life. While receiving care from Regional Cancer Care Associates, an oncologist may recommend certain palliative services and therapies to help manage a patient’s condition. These may include any of the following:
Breast cancer affects every patient differently. For example, depending on whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, patients may experience a variety of symptoms. On top of that, radiation, chemotherapy, surgery and other treatments may cause additional side effects.
As a result, a patient with breast cancer may experience any of these symptoms at a given time:
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- And more…
Most of these symptoms can usually be managed with palliative care. For example, switching a patient’s medications or diet may help curb nausea. Likewise, increasing pain medications or prescribing antidepressants may also help some patients with breast cancer.
Emotional and Spiritual Help
While dealing with breast cancer, it’s normal for patients to have questions, concerns and worries about their body, their treatment and their future. In this case, their doctor may recommend that a palliative care team or a therapist offer emotional and spiritual help. The team can help ease a patient’s fears and be a friend to him or her during this difficult time. It doesn’t matter whether patients have their own support system or not – they can still find solace in palliative care.
This is part of the reason why palliative care is often referred to as “comfort care” or “supportive care.” A patient’s emotional, mental and spiritual health is just as important to well-being as his or her physical health. Feeling happy and hopeful can help some patients feel stronger in their fight against cancer and potentially increase their chances of survival.
Because breast cancer can alter many aspects of a patient’s life, sometimes patients might require help dealing with more practical issues, like insurance or transportation. Part of offering palliative care to patients is giving them the access to counselors, organizations and other resources they need.
We’re Here to Help
The doctors, nurses and staff at Regional Cancer Care Associates are committed to helping their breast cancer patients live well. For more information about breast cancer or breast cancer treatment, reach out to your local RCCA network today.