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Palliative and Supportive Care

Palliative care is designed to help patients better manage the pain, symptoms and side effects caused by cancer and cancer treatments. Palliative care, and the medical sub-specialty of palliative medicine and nursing, is specialized care for people living with serious illness. Palliative care is provided by a team of palliative care doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.

There are three general types of Palliative Care: inpatient units (11 beds on Meyer 9, opening November 16, 2016; an inpatient consult service available to cancer and non-cancer patients, and outpatient concurrent palliative care alongside usual care.

Concurrent palliative care – having a team dedicated to symptom management, psychosocial help, and information about treatment options – has been shown to improve quality of life, symptoms, mood, and possibly lengthen survival. The Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Center offers a program for breast cancer patients that includes inpatient and outpatient consultations to work alongside your oncology team.