Palliative care. What is it?

When patients with cancer receive chemotherapy, the side effects of these types of treatments often leave them very weak and with so much pain, even worse if the disease advanced to other sites, such as key organs like the heart or lungs.  The palliative care focuses in the relief of those symptoms and the side effects, which is an extremely important aspect. The Principal objective of the palliative care is in not only in reducing the symptoms that the disease by itself can create, also to improve the patient’s life quality. Usually, the palliative care is believed that is only used for terminal patients, when in fact it can be used for any patient and for any disease, no matter how advanced the disease is. The palliative treatments can be:

-Medicines

– Nutritional support

– Relaxation techniques

-Emotional Support

– Spiritual support

– Among other therapies (You can receive palliative treatments similar to those used to eliminate cancer such as: chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery). The difference remains that those are used not to eliminate the disease but just to avoid to keep advancing.

However, in children with cancer it is commonly used. The parents work together with the health care team to control the symptoms, in such a way that they ensure that the patients get the greatest comfort.

Speaking specifically about patients with cancer, recently the pharmaceuticals are creating new therapies to attack this dangerous and aggressive disease. One of the best examples used nowadays is the immunotherapy. Additionally, as like other treatment, they have the potential to generate a great variety of side effects, and not all of the subjects experienced side effects or the same ones. However, those side effects are commonly treated with many medications now available in the market and apparently, some of them are not too expensive. Most of the patients don’t think about the cost because if there is a solution for their constant pain, they will always look for the best quality of life, even though they have an aggressive disease. This is so important, because improving their lives, can help them to tolerate better the treatments and also to live in the best possible way.