Apr 18, 2016
By Christine Ross
A new study suggests there’s a perception that palliative care is synonymous with death. It’s preventing many patients from getting therapies to improve their quality of life.
Lead researcher Dr. Camilla Zimmermann of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto says palliative care can offer pain and other symptom control from diagnosis and through the course of a patient’s illness.
And she says not all patients referred for palliative care end up dying from the disease for which they are being treated. Some may live for several years following diagnosis.
The study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal compares perceptions of the term palliative care among cancer patients who received the extra care versus those who got only standard treatment.
Zimmermann says those enrolled in palliative care changed their view dramatically and saw the service as beneficial to their quality of life, while patients who didn’t continued to see it as frightening.