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Palliative Care

(9 Posts)
SillyMilly1 Tue 04-Jun-19 10:34:03

Could someone explain this to me. What are it's uses ? Is it only to make the patients life comfortable/bearable towards the end?

OP’s posts: |
MistyReturns Tue 04-Jun-19 11:31:20

Bumping until someone with more expert knowledge than me comes along.
Yes palliative care does aim to give the patient as comfortable an end of life as possible. Also the teams associated with this can offer support and counselling to family, they can also help with paperwork etc that comes (unfortunately) with it - or at least point you in the right direction.
I'm sorry if you're in this situation- it is incredibly difficult.

SillyMilly1 Tue 04-Jun-19 11:56:49

Thanks @MistyReturns.

Yes close relative. Found out very recently. Liver cancer, no symptoms and not unwell. Stage 3 and palliative care. But told they would have decent life?


OP’s posts: |
MistyReturns Tue 04-Jun-19 12:03:56

I'm sorry to hear that.
As far as I know (NOT an expert, but work within the field). It's probably classed as life-limiting illness. Palliative care in this instance most likely being keeping pain free etc rather than trying medication to cure it (which often makes people ill in the meantime, so if it's incurable it would just be cruel). There will be a team I imagine Marie curie, Farleigh or Macmillan. They organise district nurses, carers etc and put close relatives in touch with relevant organisations etc. Most likely a clinical lead will visit regularly to assess changing needs and get them implemented.
I hope that all makes sense and is helpful.

FlorenceKettle Tue 04-Jun-19 14:06:21

There's palliative care and then there is 'end of life' care so it sounds like your situation falls under the former at the moment

Wishing you all the best with it, it's very hard work

hatgirl Tue 04-Jun-19 14:20:23

It means slightly different things in different situations but basically it means the condition/person probably isn't going to be treated aggressively in an attempt to cure, the treatment will instead be about symptom and pain management and prolonging a good quality of life as far as possible.

Look up the Gold Standard Framework (GSF) for palliative care

It gives an indication on where someone may be on the spectrum of palliative care and may provide reassurance that palliative care isn't just about end of life care.

It's uses aren't just medical though, someone who is in the Amber or red stages on the GSF may be eligible for what is known as 'fast track' funded continuing health care which would mean that all their care needs would be funded by the NHS rather than the local authority or by the person themselves.

It also allows for GPS to prescribe far in advance the '4 core drugs' which are the heavy duty end of life drugs and can be difficult to get hold of at short notice if someone has a rapid deterioration.

SillyMilly1 Tue 04-Jun-19 15:40:03

Thanks @hatgirl and @FlorenceKettle.

Problem is we are getting the information second/third hand. Family member is in 70s does this make a difference as to whether they decide on curative or palliative? Or is it just case by case?

Trying to process it all.

OP’s posts: |
hatgirl Tue 04-Jun-19 16:54:17

Age isn't usually a factor by itself, but if people's bodies are physically frail due to age it might limit the recommended options available. It's very much case by case from what I've seen.

People can live for many many years these days with palliative conditions.

CMOTDibbler Wed 05-Jun-19 15:28:28

Palliative care means 'we can't treat with the intent to cure you, but we will be treating to control your disease and symptoms' - some people will be on palliative care for many years and could look perfectly healthy on the outside for much of that.

Unfortunatly, once liver cancer is inoperable it is incurable, but they may give localised surgery/radiotherapy/ radio frequency ablation and chemotherapy to control the disease. And later they might need other treatments to control symptoms and might do further chemo over time.

Everything is case by case - some 70 year olds with otherwise curable cancer might not be well enough to tolerate it, some 90 year olds are healthy enough to have a life expectancy without the cancer to go through treatment - its not worth having a very hard year of treatment to only live another 6 months for instance when you could have had 18 months of symptom free life without intensive treatment

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