Patients with serious illnesses, such as cancer, often suffer from more than just the physical symptoms of their disease. They may struggle emotionally and deal with depression and anxiety.
Palliative care can offer an “extra layer” of treatment to help patients experience a better quality of life. Also called comfort or supportive care, it is designed to treat the whole person.
Palliative care can be given at any time during progression of a disease. But Dr. Helen M. Gordon, director of palliative care at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center, said she wishes it was offered earlier to people and not just in the late stages of illness.
She discussed the...