What is Palliative Care?

July 23, 2015
Amber Bauer, ASCO staff

Usually we define things by describing what they are. In the case of palliative care, though, it’s usually important to first state what it isn’t.

Palliative care is not the same thing as hospice care.

Yes, palliative care focuses on preventing, managing, and relieving the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment. It also provides support to people living with cancer and their family, friends, and caregivers. However, anyone—regardless of age or stage of cancer—may receive palliative care. And palliative care works best when it starts as early as needed in the cancer treatment process.

In this video, Dr. Michael Fisch, survivor Holly Anderson, Dr. Jennifer S. Temel, and Dr. Dorothy M.K. Keefe talk about how palliative care provides support and relief to people with cancer. share on twitter They also discuss how palliative care is different from hospice care.

A full-text transcript is available.