A significant improvement in cancer care is a new medical specialty called
palliative medicine -- care that alleviates the side effects of cancer
treatment and eases pain and discomfort.
Palliative care has already transformed the quality of life for many cancer
patients. A 2010 survey by researchers at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson
Cancer Center in Houston, published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association, found that most major cancer centers now offer palliative care
Your treatment decisions are based on your life, goals, and values.
For example, your goal may be to celebrate your wedding anniversary in 6
months. Or maybe you want to visit your best friend across the country. If your
palliative care doctor is aware of these goals, he or she can give you the best
treatment to meet those goals.
You may choose to weigh the pros and cons of different treatments.
Some people may want to have any treatment that could extend their life. Others
may prefer not to have a treatment that has a very small chance of working,
especially if that treatment has serious side effects. If you are not sure how
well a treatment is expected to work or what the side effects might be, ask
Sometimes the decision to stop a certain treatment can be just as
hard as the decision to continue a treatment.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Shelly R. Garone, MD - Palliative Medicine
March 4, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 04, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this