Centers & Services

Department of Palliative and Supportive Care

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

Palliative care:

  • provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
  • affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
  • intends neither to hasten or postpone death;
  • integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
  • offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death;
  • offers a support system to help the family cope during the patients illness and in their own bereavement;
  • uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated;
  • will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness;
  • is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.

Who should benefit from palliative care and supportive care?

Palliative care is implicated for every patient with sufferings. It means that palliative care is not solely for a patient in his or her end of life. It should be employed at the time of diagnosis of a disease. We have various kinds of sufferings, physical, social, psychological and/or spiritual, at diagnosis. Treatment thereafter is often associated with different kinds of side effects. We may be at a loss which treatment we should take or even not to take. Patients and family members whoever feel being distressed or having unpleasant symptom are all candidates of palliative care and supportive care. Palliative care and supportive care decrease unpleasant symptom.

How palliative care is performed?

Palliative care is provided by your attending physician and palliative care team. Palliative care team is consisted of variety of professionals such as palliative care specialists, psychiatrists, anesthesiologists, radiation therapists, dentists, pharmacists, palliative care nurse specialists, dental hygienists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nutrition support team, medical social workers, and so on. We, as palliative care team, have consultation what is the best way to resolve sufferings that patients and patients’ families are facing. We listen to patients’ talk attentively what makes he/she suffer and how he/she feel about and what he/she wants most. Inpatients have visits by our members of palliative care team every day. We, palliative care team, adjust medications and take every imaginable approach to ease patients’ sufferings. By palliating sufferings, the quality of life (QOL) of patients’ can be improved.

How to reach palliative care?

Please ask your attending physician or any medical staff for help if you want to have consultation with palliative care team. He/she will refer you to palliative care team. Outpatients as well as inpatients can be referred to palliative care team. Outpatient needs appointment and a letter of referral. Services for a bereaved family is also available. Please consult outpatient clinic for palliative and supportive care.