Hospice care for Cancer Patients
Hospice care is a philosophy of care that focuses on providing terminally ill patients with comfort and pain relief rather than aggressive treatments with the goal of a cure.
Hospice care for cancer patients is also known as palliative care. It is designed to provide comfort and pain control rather than treating the cancer. This type of care can be provided in a hospice facility or at home. It is a choice that the patient and his loved one make, they can choose to have treatment or comfort care. There is no right or wrong answer for this decision. It involved many factors and personal preferences as well.
Many cancer patients will first receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy to treat the cancer, but after a period of time, if the cancer progresses, the doctor may recommend further treatments such as hospice. If a patient chooses this option, he will stop receiving treatment and focus solely on pain control.
Most people who go into hospice care in their final days are no longer able to get out of bed and perform day to day activities like eating and bathing. Patients and their loved ones need to decide what level of care they wish to receive, and this can be discussed with the doctor and hospice nurse.
Hospice care lets a patient enjoy his last days with family and friends. He is allowed to eat good food, listen to music or watch television, read stories or even go for walks outside.
He will have the support of a team of healthcare professionals who specialize in caring for people with serious illnesses and pain control. In hospice, patients are taken care of by a team. It consists of doctors, nurses, social workers and spiritual counselors who focus on relieving the patient's pain and discomfort as well as their emotional needs.
Goals of Hospice Care
The goals of hospice care are to help a patient live as fully and comfortably as possible until he dies. The staff provides physical, emotional and spiritual support, including the following:
- Physical help with daily activities, such as walking and bathing.
- Emotional support from a social worker or counselor to help a patient and his family cope with the illness.
- Spiritual support from a chaplain, priest or other spiritual leader. The spiritual leader will talk about their beliefs and provide comfort during this time of transition.
The cost for hospice care varies by the level of services a patient needs. Most health insurance plans cover hospice care, but it can be expensive if the patient is at home rather than in a facility.
what does hospice do for cancer patients?
Hospice care for cancer patients provide palliative care or comfort care in the final days, weeks, or months of a patient's life. The difference between hospice care vs palliative care is intention towards cure along with comfort in the final stages of life. As people with cancer near their end of life, they may have symptoms related to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. They may also have pain, shortness of breath, nausea, or other symptoms. Hospice care provides a way to treat these symptoms, allowing the patient to have more comfortable and effective care during this time.
Hospice care is sometimes confused with hospice benefit. The hospice benefit can be an important part of health insurance for people with cancer as it ensures that costs incurred by end of life care will be covered. However, medicare or private health insurance does not cover everything that hospice patients may need during their final days and weeks of life.
Hospice can help to ensure that the needs of people with cancer are met even near the end of life. Hospice care helps to ensure that patients will receive more effective care, reduce stress on the family, and provide comfort for those who are going to die soon.
Hospice care at home lets patient meet family and friends during end stages of life. Hospice providers visit the patient's home as needed, assessing patient's needs and making changes in treatment as necessary. Hospice providers like Golden Age Companions also have staff available 24 hours a day to provide services such as medication management, hydration assistance, and transportation (for patients who may be too ill to travel).
Hospice providers also help the patient's family by providing referrals to community resources that can assist families during this difficult time. They also have social workers available to help with legal or financial support if needed.
hospice care for brain cancer patients
When a person has a malignant brain tumor, the end-of-life prognosis can be especially grim. The median survival rate for glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive type of brain cancer, is two to three years. The five-year survival rate is just 5 percent.
Yet for some people, the course of their disease and overall outlook can improve remarkably with treatment. For instance, a 2010 study of 189 patients with glioblastoma found that taking chemotherapy drugs after surgery prolonged life by an average of 36 months compared to not doing so — and 24 percent of study participants who received chemotherapy were alive after five years.
Because life expectancy can vary so widely in people with brain cancer, the question of when to stop treatment is a complex and difficult one for caregivers and loved ones alike. It's an issue physicians and other medical professionals advise patients and families about every day.
hospice care for lung cancer patients
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. For all stages combined, lung cancer is responsible for 28 percent of cancers, including 30 percent of male deaths and 26 percent of female deaths.
Hospice care is an important option for many people with advanced lung cancer. The goal of hospice care is to maximize quality of life for the patient during his or her remaining time. It provides comfort, not cure. Hospice focuses on the whole person: physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially.
Care for the patient includes medication to reduce pain and help with breathing. Other options such as emotional support and spiritual guidance may also be helpful for patients and families that are grieving or depressed. Hospice even offers complementary therapies such as music, massage, art therapy and reiki to take care of a patient's mental and physical needs.
Choosing to stop cancer treatment (also called "goals of care") can be a difficult decision, especially when the lung cancer is considered inoperable or life expectancy is very short. However, some patients choose to stop traditional therapies because of limited benefits and significant side effects.
hospice care for terminal cancer patients
Hospice care was developed in response to the needs of patients with terminal illnesses and their families. It is designed to help people live as comfortably and independently as possible during the last stages of a serious illness, when curative treatments are no longer effective.
In terminal cancer hospice care, a patient's goal is not curing cancer, but controlling pain and symptoms. A number of steps can be taken to control the pain and other symptoms experienced by a person with terminal cancer.
Although it is often referred to as care for the terminally ill, hospice care is not just for people who are near death.
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