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PALLIATION BENEFITS

HELPING KEEP SYMPTOMS OF TERMINAL ILLNESS UNDER CONTROL MAY KEEP PEOPLE ALIVE LONGER, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Palliative care, where distressing symptoms are kept under control as best as possible, helped people with life-threatening lung cancer feel better and actually live longer, a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says palliative care is distinct from hospice care.

NELSON:  Hospice care usually refers to the very end stages of life with the same types of goals, improving quality of life and increasing independence and dignity despite knowing that the person is going to ultimately lose their life at the end of this care episode.  Palliative care can be used as a bridge to hospice care but also can relief symptoms in cancer and other illnesses when they are not in a life threatening posture.   :25

Besides cancer, other conditions that will likely benefit from palliative care would include congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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