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Palliative Care for Cancer Patients

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of cancer patients and their families facing the problems associated with a life-threatening illness. Support is offered through early identification and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychological and spiritual. It is useful at any stage of an advanced illness, can be provided simultaneously with other treatments and is not limited to terminally ill patients. In fact, our patients may be at different stages of illness, from active treatment to recovery to non-curative care. As a result, each care plan is as unique as the individual for whom it is created.

At Summa Health, palliative care for cancer patients is provided by a team. The disciplines that make up our team include physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, aides, social workers, spiritual care coordinators, massage therapists and volunteers. This holistic care model focuses on improving the quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care also works closely with caregivers, who face a tremendous challenge caring for their loved ones while trying to balance a work/life schedule. Our team can help caretakers search for community support resources and provide counseling to help ease the burden.

Palliative care can help with:

  • Pain
  • Anxiety or distress
  • Constipation
  • Dyspnea
  • Insomnia
  • Spiritual concerns or issues
  • Ascites/edema
  • Depression

Hospice is a type of palliative care, which is usually provided in the home. Here, a team of professionals and volunteers provide medical, psychological, emotional and spiritual support to terminally ill patients and their families. In hospice, great emphasis is given to pain and symptom control. Hospice patients usually have less than a year to live.

Summa Health System has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for its palliative care program. The Advanced Certification for Palliative Care standards focuses on patient and family-centered care in order to optimize the quality of life for patients with serious illness. In achieving Joint Commission advanced certification, Summa has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for patients with serious illness.

To learn more about Summa Health at Home’s Hospice and Palliative Care Services, call 234.312.5400 to speak with one of our specialists.


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