Lung cancer can be difficult to cure, leaving many patients with severe lung damage and other conditions that require medical care. Patients can be placed on palliative care. Palliative care seeks to keep patients as comfortable as possible while undergoing treatment for a disease and is reserved for cases where the treatment process is taking an exceptional toll on the patient.
Examples of Palliative Care
Palliative care comes in several forms, all of which are focused on keeping patients comfortable. It provides supportive care for lung cancer patients in different ways depending on their needs. The types of palliative care include:
- Pain management: Pain management is the type of palliative care that most people are familiar with. It focuses on relieving pain and can include treatment methods that would otherwise be too intensive for patients under normal circumstances. Morphine treatment is a common pain management method.
- Breathing support: Patients with lung cancer often have trouble breathing. Breathing support provides machines and other methods to help patients breathe easier. Oxygen systems and ventilators are common treatment methods.
- Insomnia treatment: Insomnia can place a large strain on patients’ mental and physical health. Insomnia treatments help patients rest so that they are more resilient through care.
- Mental health care: Dealing with lung cancer can put a major strain on patients’ mental health. Palliative care can provide mental health support to relieve that strain and make patients more comfortable.
- Digestive care: Cancer patients often have problems eating, including nausea and digestive problems. Palliative care can help with digestion and eating through medications and diet control.
There are many other types of care the palliative care can provide that are not covered on this list. If the treatment process for lung cancer is becoming too difficult to handle, request palliative care. It can begin before a condition is terminal and may make it much easier to prolong treatments.
Palliative Care vs. Hospice
Many people confuse palliative care with hospice care. In many ways, they provide the same level of care, but in different situations. Palliative care focuses on keeping patients comfortable while dealing with intensive treatments and the symptoms of medical conditions. It is often implemented when treatments or the recovery process are expected to be painful. However, palliative care can begin at any time.
Hospice care is a lot like palliative care but removes many of the limits on medications and procedures that medical staff can use. Hospice is essentially palliative care for terminal patients. It is designed to keep them comfortable and functional while in the final stages of a disease. Hospice care can include intensive treatments, such as continued morphine care, which could get a recovered patient addicted to morphine. Since the patient is not going to recover, this addiction problem is no longer a problem.
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Palliative Care Is Not Giving Up
While many people associate palliative care with end-of-life treatment, it is not giving up. Palliative care is designed to make it easier for patients to withstand treatments and diseases so that they are more resilient and able to heal. In many cases, the treatment processes for diseases can be worse than the disease. Palliative care makes these situations bearable so that patients can recover and enjoy the time that they have with their families. Asking for palliative care is not a sign that treatment is failing or that the patient does not want to continue. It just indicates that the patient needs some assistance in dealing with the physical and mental stresses of their condition.
Benefits of Palliative Care
Palliative care can provide several benefits that make it a great option for improving patient care. These benefits include:
- Improved quality of life
- More support for patients and families
- Provides pain management
- Limits unnecessary medical visits
- More personalized services
There are many benefits to palliative care that are not discussed on this list. If you are in a situation where you think that palliative care may change the quality of your care, then ask to speak to a palliative care specialist. It may make a difference in your comfort and long-term healthcare that you need.
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Palliative Care for Lung Cancer Patients
Palliative care is a great option for patients with lung cancer. The treatment options for lung cancer, as well as the disease itself, can create new problems for patients. Breathing problems are particularly common. The resources provided for palliative care for patients with lung cancer can address many of these problems, including resources to help with breathing.
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Discuss Lung Cancer Legal Concerns with a Lawyer
Patients with lung cancer need specialized care but can make a full recovery. If you or a loved one experiences problems while receiving treatment for lung cancer, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to speak with a member of our team about your case.