Supportive Oncology/Palliative Care Services
Patients facing difficult health care and life decisions sometimes need advocates to ensure that their desires are voiced and honored—both by family members and their overall medical team.
The UC Cancer Institute’s interdisciplinary palliative care team focuses on enhancing quality of life by assisting with the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of patients with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. Emphasis is placed on pain and symptom management, as well as communication and coordination of care, in order to maximize your quality of life.
The team includes board certified palliative care physicians, a nurse practitioner and master’s prepared social workers. We work collaboratively with other professionals including pharmacists and chaplains. Both inpatient and outpatient consults are available.
The patient support services team provides assistance with:
- Pain and symptom management, including dyspnea, anxiety, nausea, delirium, difficult-to-control-pain, adjustment to illness or prognosis
- Family conferences
- Care coordination and complex cases
- Advanced directives
- Code status discussion
- Community resources referrals
- Spiritual counseling
- Psychosocial challenges
- End-of-life discussions
- Hospice referrals
Hospice care is a subset of the larger palliative care specialty. Hospice care is for patients who have a terminal illness and have chosen to focus care on comfort. On the other hand, palliative care can be concurrent with curative treatment, as well as with end-of-life care. Palliative care helps patients live comfortably and make their own decisions about care.
There can be benefits to involving palliative care early in the course of serious illness. Being proactive during treatment enables our team to help patients control symptoms before they become overwhelming. In addition, involving palliative care early can give you and your family time to prepare for difficult decisions that might need to be made during the course of treatment. It is a true partnership, where our medical team not only supports you and your family every step of the way by controlling symptoms, but also through improving your understanding of treatment options and goals.
Inpatient consultations are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and outpatient consultations are available by appointment. Call (513) 584-2400 to schedule an appointment.