Palliative care is specialised care for people who have a disease that cannot be cured.
It focuses not only on helping to control physical symptoms such as pain, but also on emotional wellbeing, relationships with others and spiritual needs. In later stages, palliative care can also help people prepare for death.
Palliative care includes more than care for people who are dying. Any treatment for metastatic breast cancer that helps to relieve symptoms and improve day-to-day life can be called palliative care.
Who provides palliative care?
Palliative care includes care at home or in hospitals, hospices or specialist palliative care units. The palliative care team works with the other health professionals involved in a woman’s care.
The palliative care team might include:
- a palliative care specialist
- a local GP with skills in palliative care
- a palliative care nurse
- palliative care volunteers
- allied health professionals, such as a dietitian or occupational therapist
- social workers