Cancer and its treatment may cause physical and psychological discomfort that can impact your quality of life. An important part of your cancer care, regardless of your age, type or stage of cancer is preventing or relieving these symptoms and side effects. A specialized area of medicine that manages pain and symptoms is called Palliative Care. It is also called Supportive Care. Palliative and Supportive Care improves your quality of life while you undergo disease-directed cancer treatment by lessening the physical side effects, openly discussing your options, clarifying your understanding and expectations of treatment and providing additional support and advocacy. Practical issues such as pain, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea and constipation, as well as emotional needs such as anxiety and depression are some of the symptoms treated by palliative care. Consideration of your spiritual and practical concerns are also important to palliative care providers.
Palliative care providers also specialize in assisting patients and their family members manage the complex decisions that often accompany living with a serious illness. In person and telemedicine visits can be scheduled to discuss and complete advance directives and POLST forms as well as review the goals of treatment, particularly in advanced cancer.
Although Palliative and Supportive Care is a part of the standard cancer care provided by all of our oncology team members, Astera also provides you the unique opportunity to receive more intensive, specialty level palliative care by board certified palliative medicine providers and social workers that collaborate closely with your medical oncologist. In fact, research has shown that people who receive both standard oncology care along with palliative and supportive care, have less symptoms, a better quality of life, and report better satisfaction with their treatment experience. In essence, palliative care eases suffering and provides supportive guidance along your cancer journey.
Should you have any questions about Palliative and Supportive Care at Astera, please call our Director of Palliative and Supportive Care, Tina Basenese, MA, APN, ACHPN at 732-853-1314 or email palliative@asterahealthcare.
Advance Care Planning Forms
Please download the Pain and Symptom Journal form. This form will be used to assist your palliative and supportive care provider best treat and manage any distressing pain and symptoms you might be experiencing. Fill out the form as instructed and bring to your Astera appointments.
The Conversation Project is an initiative to help people share their wishes for care. We invite you to view this short video “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer: The Conversation Project” for more information on this initiative.