Supportive care available at Institut Curie
The mobile assistance unit for supportive care
UMASS is a team which coordinates overall care services in conjunction with the other Curie caregivers and doctors’ surgeries for patients whose disease situation is complex, whether they are at home or in hospital.
In particular, the team provides:
- Help in relieving symptoms linked to the disease or treatments. It cares for patients during consultations or in the day hospital and offers evaluations to hospitalised patients.
- Multidisciplinary care, in conjunction with the oncologist and the other DISSPO players: psycho-oncologists, onco-geriatricians, pain specialists, hypnotherapists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, social workers, socio-aestheticians and so on.
- Organising assistance with the return home in conjunction with the attending physician, home hospitalisation (HAD), private caregivers and city/hospital networks, as well as follow-up.
- Providing support for the families.
- Palliative care and end-of-life care.
Both the disease and the treatments may make it necessary to adapt the diet. Advice from the nutritionist is recommended for patients with ENT cancers or those who have had abdominal surgery, in cases of peritoneal carcinomatosis with a residue-free diet, or in the palliative phase, when the patient is undernourished. But it is possible in all cases.
Generally speaking, the treatments may disrupt the patient’s customary diet, leading to nausea and vomiting. This might cause weight loss or, on the contrary, major weight gain. The patients can ask for the help of a nutritionist, who will help them to adapt their diet.
Institut Curie has a team of physiotherapists who work with all departments, either preventively or to provide relief to patients. Among the most frequent cases: information on the prevention of lymphoedema for women who have undergone breast cancer, mobilisation and functional rehabilitation for children and adults, and preventive mobilisation to combat ankylosis in bedridden patients.
Psychologists and psychiatrists are available to meet with the patients at their own request or that of the care team. They offer tailor-made assistance during the hospitalisation phases, depending on each patient’s needs. Above all, the psycho-oncologists respond to the problems of people undergoing treatment, but they may also support patients with an identified cancer risk or grieving families. When they can no longer follow up on a patient, they direct them to other practitioners, in particular the psycho-social networks in Paris and the psychologists of the medical-psychological centres.
The palliative care department takes charge of patients with stubborn or disabling symptoms with psycho-social implications. At the Saint-Cloud site, a doctor devotes himself to patients at the end of their treatment, for care of after-effects such as fatigue, stress or lymphoedema.
The day hospital receives patients whatever the phase of the disease, whether the situation is complex, with stubborn or disabling symptoms, or, quite simply, when special assistance is needed. The assessment is made over a half-day or a full day.
Elderly patients face special problems. A multidimensional geriatric evaluation is thus sometimes necessary. This enables the doctors to offer a patient treatment adapted to their general state of health.