“Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.” (World Health Organisation)
Palliative Care uses a team approach to address the needs not only of patients, but also their families. It aims to enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of the illness.
A referral to the Palliative Care Team does not mean that all hope is gone. There is evidence that you greatly benefit from an early referral to a Palliative Care Team for management of your symptoms… “Palliative care is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.”
Women affected by cancer may benefit from referral to the palliative care specialists working in conjunction with the oncology team at any time in their illness. Palliative Care specialists at King Edward Memorial Hospital are frequently involved in supporting and caring for women for many months or years. At an appropriate time, they collaborate with metropolitan and country palliative care services to provide additional community supports or admission to a suitable inpatient palliative care facility.
Palliative Care WA is a community organisation that provides information and support to Western Australians.