Sometimes palliative care is confused with end-of-life care, but it’s not the same thing. Palliative care is much more than this.
Palliative care is treatment and support to:
- Help you to manage the symptoms of your cancer
- Reduce the side effects of your treatments
- Improve your quality of life
You may receive palliative care right from the time of your diagnosis of secondary breast cancer. It can help to keep you more active, more comfortable and able to enjoy life more.
Examples of palliative care that your treatment team may provide or organise for you include:
- Psychological support for you and your carers, to help with any distress and turmoil
- Management of symptoms and side effects, including reducing pain, fatigue and infections
- Social support to help with personal care and daily living, friendship, work, and finances and any responsibilities you have caring for others
- Meeting your spiritual needs, for example by giving you opportunities to discuss your thoughts, questions and beliefs, or providing contact with a faith leader
- Rehabilitation services, such as lymphoedema care, physiotherapy, psychosexual counselling, and speech and language therapy
- Complementary therapy advice or provision, such as meditation, massage and reflexology
- Carer support (both practical and emotional support) to help your loved ones care for you and cope
- End-of-life care to meet your wishes including where and how you’d like to be cared for in your final days
Breast Cancer Now’s health information is produced following best practice guidelines developed by the Patient Information Forum.
Find out more about how we develop our health information and the Patient Information Forum.