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How can palliative care help people who are terminally ill?

Anthony Cirillo
Geriatric Medicine
Some terminally ill patients who receive palliative care live longer and with a better quality of life than those who receive standard medical care.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School evaluated the life expectancy and quality of life of roughly 150 patients with terminal lung cancers. Patients receiving palliative care, which focuses on treating pain, anxiety, and loss of appetite, reported a 50% lower rate of depression than non-palliative patients. They also lived an average of 2.5 months longer than the other patients, according to the report.

Palliative care is focused symptom management of a terminal illness to promote comfort and optimal functioning when faced with a terminal illness. With a holistic psycho-social-medical-spiritual multi-disciplinary approach, symptoms of discomfort are aggressively treated by a team of specialists, to maintain optimal function and a feeling of well being. The emphasis is not on "cure", but "care". With this focus, patients' fears are addressed resulting in a quality of life that often exceeds their expectations....

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.