Palliative care helps people to live their lives as fully and comfortably as possible by treating each individual’s symptoms to improve their quality of life.
Palliative care doctors and nurses are specialists in treating pain and other symptoms, such as vomiting or shortness of breath associated with cancer or its treatment. Emotional, spiritual and social needs, counselling and respite care are also important parts of palliative care.
Palliative care is available to people of any age with a serious illness. Palliative care can be given alongside other cancer treatments, and provided at home, in a hospital, hospice (palliative care unit) or residential aged care facility.
People who access palliative care early tend to do better. Recent studies show that people who have early palliative care lived longer, with fewer symptoms and had better quality of life than patients who did not have palliative care.