Palliative care involves health professionals from a range of disciplines who provide care for a patient's physical, practical, emotional and spiritual needs. The palliative care team may include medical and nursing staff and allied health professionals such as physiotherapists, social workers and dieticians, who work closely with doctors to provide care for the child throughout their illness.
The aim of palliative care is to help achieve the best quality of life possible, and to help with any physical and emotional discomfort. Palliative care can help reduce cancer symptoms which may include pain, nausia and fatigue. It can also help reduce the side effects from cancer treatments. During regular appointments the patient will be monitored and their care adjusted accordingly.
Palliative care is usually given as early as possible after a patient is diagnosed with cancer, and begins treatment, to help ease side effects. It is not only for children with advanced cancer.
Sadly, sometimes despite the health care team's best efforts, it may not be posssible to cure a child's cancer. Our focus then becomes to provide the best quality of life for the child and to manage their symptoms.