Palliative care


Palliative care is a system of medical, physical and emotional support provided by a team of specialists for people with advanced illness who need relief from symptoms, pain and stress. Palliative care provides ongoing support throughout your treatment and after it ends.

Palliative care focuses on providing relief for symptoms such as:

  • pain
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty sleeping
  • depression

Caregiver Support

Palliative care also supports the caregiver. Unlike hospice care (which is specifically for end-of-life situations), palliative care is for those with advanced disease. It’s designed to help you and your family, with the goal of improving the quality of life for everyone affected.

It also helps cancer survivors gain strength to carry on with daily life, improves their sense of control, and can help tolerate treatments. Ask if your hospitals, cancer centers, or long-term care facility provides palliative care. You might even be able to receive it at home.

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Content medically-reviewed by members of the Fight Colorectal Cancer Medical Advisory Board, February 2014