Palliative Care for Mesothelioma
Palliative care improves the patient’s quality of life. It doesn’t stop or slow down mesothelioma’s progression. It may be used while a patient’s actively being treated and or after the disease no longer responds to treatment. If you’re being treated, you may receive palliative care without realizing it.
What Is Palliative Care?
Palliative care improves patients’ and caregivers’ quality of life by helping them manage mesothelioma’s symptoms and treatment’s side effects. It allows people to live as well as they can for as long as possible.
Palliative care is a standard part of mesothelioma care. It doesn’t treat the disease but prevents or treats its symptoms and side effects. It’s not limited to the person’s physical condition. Palliative care addresses how the illness and treatment affect the whole person by focusing on pain, symptoms, and stress.
Specialized professionals can help manage physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual issues that may arise. Palliative care is often part of hospice care when mesothelioma worsens despite treatment, and the person nears the end of life.
How is Palliative Care Different Than Hospice Care?
There are many overlaps. Hospice care, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), focuses on the quality of life of those experiencing an advanced, life-ending illness and their caregivers. Hospice’s philosophy accepts death as life’s final stage. It affirms life while not hastening or postponing death.
Some of the things in common include:
- They both provide an improved quality of life and relief from disease symptoms and treatment’s side effects
- Both have specialists for a person’s medical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social needs
- Palliative care is often part of hospice care
Their differences include:
- When it’s given: Palliative care is available at any disease stage. Hospice is provided near the patient’s end of life
- What else can be given: Palliative care may be given during active treatment. Hospice care starts after that ends
- What the care team does: The palliative care team doesn’t give or manage mesothelioma treatment but communicates with those who do. The hospice care team coordinates most patient care and communicates with medical care providers
Why is Palliative Care Important?
How cancer and its treatment impact a person is unique. The palliative care providers consider each patient’s situation and help with various needs:
- Controlling symptoms
- Managing emotions
- Showing how to cope with life and family changes
- Understanding spiritual issues
- Supporting caregivers
- Assisting with insurance, work, and financial issues
- Helping fill out advance directives and other forms
- Transitioning to hospice care when needed
Palliative care provides far more than medical care to patients and families that may otherwise be overwhelmed by the situation.
What are Palliative Care’s Benefits?
Medical studies show patients getting palliative care:
- In a hospital spend less time in intensive care units
- Are less likely to go to an emergency department or be re-admitted after being discharged from the hospital
- Have less severe symptoms and better quality of life
- Feel less pain, depression, and nausea
- Are more emotionally healthy
Their families also report feeling more satisfied with their loved one’s care.
Where Is Palliative Care Provided?
It’s often offered and started by the healthcare organization providing treatment, according to ACS. The doctors and nurses seen during treatment may provide some palliative care and could refer patients to palliative care specialists. Palliative care is provided at a doctor’s office, in the hospital, or at home.
Who Pays for Palliative Care?
It may be covered, with limits, by government and private insurance plans. Palliative care can also be part of chronic or long-term care coverage. Depending on how your insurance defines palliative care, it may be included in hospice care coverage. The insurer may limit payment depending on where palliative care is administered.
Satterley & Kelley, PLLC is Here to Help You and Your Family
Because asbestos caused your mesothelioma, you may qualify for compensation that will help you and your family now and in the future. We will discuss your asbestos exposure and legal rights and submit a claim that might ease your financial burdens.