Palliative care addresses needs of people with a life-limiting illness in a holistic way. It provides individualised care to improve your quality of life and make the time you have as valuable as it can be for you and your family.

Palliative or supportive care is given throughout the cancer experience, whenever the person is having symptoms that need to be controlled. This can be from the time of diagnosis until the end of life. It’s appropriate at any age and at any stage in any serious illness.

The role of palliative care

Palliative care helps people with advanced cancer to live as fully and as comfortably as possible. The role of palliative care is to:
– Identify and help you manage your physical, practical, emotional, spiritual and social needs
– Help you achieve the best quality of life that you can for as long as possible
– Help you feel in control of your situation and make decisions about your treatment and ongoing care
– Provide support to families and carers.

This type of care can improve quality of life from the time of diagnosis, and can be given alongside other cancer treatments.

Palliative care services

Services will be tailored to your individual needs, but may include:
– Relief of pain and other symptoms (e.g. nausea, vomiting)
– Equipment to aid care at home, such as wheelchairs or special beds
– Assistance for families to talk about sensitive or complex issues
– Links to other services such as home help and financial support
– Support for people to meet cultural obligations
– Counselling and grief support
– Support for emotional, social and spiritual concerns
– Referrals to respite care services.


Palliative care aim to provide quality care and quality of life for someone living with a life-limiting illness. It is about living for as long as possible in a way that is meaningful to you, within the constraints of your illness. It’s not simply about dying.

Palliative care

Palliative care improves the quality of life of patients

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