At all stages of your cancer treatment you need to feel as well as possible. This can be achieved through palliative care. Palliative care focuses on improving quality of life for you and your family. Palliative care can be given at any time during your treatment pathway. In some countries, palliative care has been more appropriately renamed ‘supportive care’.
Palliative/supportive care includes a wide range of services, including:
- Treatments and support to relieve cancer symptoms
- Treatments and support to help manage pain
- Treatments and support to reduce medication side effects
- Emotional and social support
- Specialised support at the end of life.
Palliative/supportive treatments and services include but are not limited to:
- Medication – to control symptoms such as pain and nausea
- Radiotherapy – to control growth of the tumour and relieve symptoms caused by the RCC or the metastases.
For example, a low dose of palliative radiotherapy can reduce pain from cancer in the bones or control symptoms such as bleeding
- Blood transfusions – to treat anaemia
- Oxygen – to help with breathing difficulties
- Relaxation techniques, meditation and massage – to help support your mental health and make you feel better
- Counselling and support – to manage emotional problems such as anxiety and depression
- Nutritional advice to help with cancer-related weight loss or side effects
- Practical help with tasks of daily living
- Help and advice regarding issues, such as powers of attorney and advanced care planning, according to your
Palliative/supportive care not only provides support to you, but it also aims to support others involved in your care, such as your family and friends.