What The Difference Between Palliative And Hospice Care Means For Cancer Patients

Palliative care, also known as comfort care, is often used to makes the lives of cancer patients more comfortable. However, because hospice care often includes some form of palliative care, the two are often confused. Learn what you need to know about palliative care and why the difference between hospice and palliative care matters.

The Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care

The type of palliative care that is used in hospice centers is different from the type of palliative care that's given to patients who are still receiving cancer treatment. Typically, hospice care is only offered to cancer patients who no longer benefit from cancer treatments, therefore, the disease is so advanced that the patients in hospice care are nearing the end of their lives. Hospice centers provide palliative care to cancer patients, however, the type of palliative care the patients receive mostly focuses on comfort and pain relief.

Hospitals offers a more detailed palliative care to patients that are still receiving cancer treatment. The palliative care given by hospitals covers pain control and comfort, but it also helps patients deal with emotional issues associated with the disease, such as anxiety and depression; find answers to practical questions, such as questions concerning financial and legal issues; and explore their spiritual beliefs. In addition, these services, excluding comfort care, are also often offered to the family members of cancer patients so that they are able to help their loved ones make difficult decisions and cope with their emotions.

Are You Eligible for Palliative Care?

If you are receiving cancer treatment, you could be eligible for palliative care. However, it's important to check with your health insurance company to determine what type of care your specific plan covers. Government health insurance programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare, also cover palliative care for cancer patients. So, if you don't have health insurance, you should speak to a government social worker to find out if you qualify for a subsidized program. Palliative care can begin for cancer patients as soon as the diagnosis is received, and it will continue throughout your treatment and, if needed, throughout hospice care.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you should consider talking to your doctor about the types of palliative care offered to you. Not only does palliative care help you manage any pain that you have, but it will help you cope with various aspects of your life so that you can continue to have a happy and fulfilled lifestyle. To find out more, speak with someone like Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care.