Palliative care for cancer patients

January 16, 2024 Palliative care

Palliative care for cancer patients

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is care given to improve the quality of life of your loved ones who have a serious or life-threatening disease, such as cancer. Palliative care adopts a holistic approach to care that addresses your loved one as a whole, not just their disease. The goal is to prevent or treat, as early as possible, the symptoms and side effects of the disease and its treatment, in addition to any related psychological, social, and spiritual problems. It also offers continuous and consistent support, whether during ongoing treatment or end of life situations. Our article on “what is palliative care” may be helpful.

How does palliative care help cancer patients?

Loved ones who use palliative care services have less pain, depression, nausea, and shortness of breath. They spend less time in intensive care and are less likely to have to go back into the hospital. Loved ones who pair it with their cancer treatment have a better quality of life and mood than those who don’t use the services at all. As the aim of palliative care is to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life, it can be used at any stage of an illness. For those with advanced-stage cancer, palliative care can potentially extend life while enhancing comfort, despite the absence of a cure.

What does palliative care for cancer patient involve?

Palliative care should begin when you need it and may last a few days, or for months or years.

Your loved one may be considered to be approaching the end of life when they are likely to die within the next 12 months, although this is not always possible to predict. This includes people whose death is imminent, as well as people who:

  • have an advanced incurable illness, such as cancer, dementia or motor neurone disease
  • are generally frail and have co-existing conditions that mean they are expected to die within 12 months
  • have existing conditions if they are at risk of dying from a sudden crisis in their condition
  • have a life-threatening acute condition caused by a sudden catastrophic event, such as an accident or stroke

What is the aim of palliative care?

Palliative care aims to help you or your loved one have a good quality of life – this includes being as well and active as possible in the time you have left. It can involve:

  • managing physical symptoms such as pain and other distressing symptoms
  • integrating emotional, spiritual and psychological into aspects of care
  • social care, including help with things like washing, dressing or eating
  • offering a support system for your loved one and their family and friends.

You or your loved one can receive palliative care at any stage in your illness. Having palliative care doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re likely to die soon – some people receive palliative care for years. You can also have palliative care alongside treatments, therapies and medicines aimed at controlling your illness, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

However, palliative care does include caring for people who are nearing the end of life – this is sometimes called the end of life care.

How can Cavendish Homecare help?

At Cavendish Homecare, we provide cancer homecare for people who need additional support after their diagnosis. If you are looking for private cancer care at home please call our home care team to see how we can assist you during your cancer treatment.

Our team of nurses and carers is equipped to provide comprehensive care to clients based in London and the home counties, including Kensington and Chelsea, Harrow, Twickenham, Westminster, Camden, and Surrey. We remain flexible to accommodate care requests in other areas, contingent upon available accommodation provisions.

If you would like to enquire about our cancer care, contact us on, 02030085210 or email us at info@cavendishhomecare.comWe also provide other types of care including palliative homecare, respite homecare and live-in homecare.