Living With Cancer: The Role of Palliative Care at Roswell Park

Friday, March 16, 2012 - 4:05pm
& Dr. Amy Alvarez-Perez

A diagnosis of cancer changes your life, and the lives of those closest to you, forever. It impacts you physically, emotionally, socially … every way imaginable.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness--whatever the diagnosis.

The goal of our team is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support.

It is a common misperception that Palliative Care is offered only to patients who are ending curative treatment. It is appropriate for patients of any age and at any stage of illness and can be provided together with curative treatment.  We help patients maintain optimal quality of life from the day they are diagnosed and throughout their cancer journey.

The Supportive and Palliative Care team includes a diverse group of specialists, from multiple disciplines, including:

  • Physicians, board certified in Palliative Medicine
  • Nurses, certified in Palliative Care
  • Chaplains
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers

Together, these professionals offer a range of supportive services, such as:

  • Management of pain and symptoms
  • Planning for continuing care needs
  • Healthcare decision-making
  • Emotional and psychosocial support
  • Spiritual support

Survivorship

Although most cancer patients think of themselves as “survivors” only after they complete treatment, all cancer patients are survivors – from the day they are diagnosed and throughout the rest of their lives. Roswell Park's Palliative Care team plays an important role during each phase of this survivorship. With more cancer survivors alive today – more than 12 million and growing - the role of Palliative Care is ever important to support our growing cancer survivor community.

Support our Quest for Advanced Certification

Our Palliative Care program has been selected to compete for a $10,000 grant from LIVESTRONG, the cancer advocacy foundation founded by cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong. The Palliative Care team will use the grant towards the Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification Program for Palliative Care, and, ultimately, expand the support we can offer to our patients and families. To date, only five programs in the United States have this certification. It will keep Roswell Park  in the forefront of cancer care services, both nationally and locally. Additionally, it will reconfirm Roswell Park’s dedication to providing compassionate care to both patients and their families at every stage of their experience with cancer.

Whether we receive this grant is up to you—our community. The regional winners will be determined through online votes. Help us bring this important funding to Roswell Park by voting at the link below and encouraging everyone you know to do the same before the voting deadline of 5 p.m. Friday, March 23.

VOTE HERE.

We appreciate your vote, and, most importantly, our patients appreciate your votes.