Palliative Care

Generally when people think of care for their health, they are thinking in terms of curing care. They want something that will cure the cold, the flu, the arthritis, the fibromyalgia or the cancer. Sometimes there is no real care available. Diabetics, for instance, have no cure. Type I diabetics are reliant on insulin for their very life. Their bodies do not produce insulin, and in fact, don’t even have the necessary cells to do so.

In later stage cancers, there is little that can be done. We often think of battling away against cancer. For some, to not battle is a little like giving up. Not battling the end stage disease often means palliative care. Palliative care is typically anything that makes the patient feel better for however long they live, without going to heroic measures. Chemotherapy is not typically palliative. Pain killers generally are.

Is palliative care giving up or giving in? In an article on a study on palliative care, the New York Times states, “doctors have found that patients with terminal lung cancer who began receiving palliative care immediately upon diagnosis not only were happier, more mobile and in less pain as the end neared — but they also lived nearly three months longer.”

Is that really giving up?

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