Dealing with the symptoms of any painful or serious illness is difficult. However, special care is available to make you more comfortable right now. It’s called palliative (pal-lee-uh-tiv) care.
Palliative care is comprehensive treatment of the discomfort, symptoms and stress of serious illness. It does not replace your primary treatment; palliative care works together with the primary treatment you’re receiving. The goal is to prevent and ease suffering and improve your quality of life.
Palliative care provides relief from distressing symptoms of an illness or side effects of medical treatments, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Problems with sleep
Palliative care is different from hospice care. Palliative care is available to you at any time during your illness. Remember that you can receive palliative care at the same time you receive treatments that are meant to cure your illness. Its availability does not depend upon whether or not your condition can be cured. The goal is to make you as comfortable as possible and improve your quality of life. While people in hospice always receive palliative care, you don’t have to be in hospice or at the end of life to receive palliative care.
Learn more about what palliative care means for bone marrow failure diseases.