Palliative care is intended primarily to improve comfort for patients with chronic disease. It also helps prevent or correct difficult situations during treatment.
In oncology as in other pathologies, the purpose of palliative care is not to cure the disease, but rather is complementary to curative care. This active and continuous care is intended essentially to relieve pain and psychological suffering in patients with a serious and progressive or terminal disease, while preserving their dignity. It also includes support for family and loved ones.
Palliative care can be provided during treatment with the aim of improving the patient’s comfort, or at advanced stages of the disease to reduce unpleasant symptoms. It includes the following:
- Treatment of symptoms such as pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, digestive issues, and anxiety.
- Certain curative treatments, for example antibiotics for pneumonia occurring alongside cancer.
Various clinical studies have proven palliative care to be effective in improving a patient’s quality of life and well-being. Results are even more positive when palliative care is given early on during treatment.
Palliative care at Institut Curie is provided by:
- The supportive-care day hospital.
- The mobile palliative care team (EMSP), made up of several professionals (physician, nurse, psychologist, physical therapist and social worker) in the various departments, with 40 beds dedicated to palliative care (LISP).
Palliative care in supportive care at Institut Curie
Supportive care consultations are offered to patients with stubborn or disabling symptoms, including the after-effects of the end of treatment, such as fatigue, stress or lymphedema. These consultations are offered in collaboration with the oncology team. The day hospital receives patients regardless of the phase of the disease when they require multidisciplinary care for social, psychological and somatic issues. An assessment is made by a physician and a nurse who coordinate the services of the various professionals in conjunction with the attending oncologist and home-care providers.