Our Integrated Cancer Care program
now provides palliative care

Sheron Opts for Alternative Leukemia Treatment

Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Integrated Cancer Care program offers patient-centered quality care throughout the entirety of a cancer survivor’s journey. In addition to traditional oncology care such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormonal therapy and radiation therapy, the program provides exercise and fitness programs at Galter LifeCenter; integrative therapies including massage, acupuncture and water shiatsu; educational and social support groups and gatherings; stress reduction training and nutrition assessment and counseling. 

The cancer care program recently began incorporating a board-certified palliative care physician who provides integrated care with a team of oncologists, nurses, social workers and dietitians. The introduction of palliative care into survivorship care furthers the Center for Advanced Therapy’s mission to assist patients in managing pain, uncertainty and symptom-related distress to help set goals for continued medical care. 

Survivorship care at Swedish Hospital begins at point of diagnosis or physician referral, when an experienced team of medical professionals screen patients for psychosocial distress, depression/anxiety, nutritional status, physical pain and health-related quality of life. The results of this comprehensive assessment help the care team and patient work together to develop a unique, supportive care plan. 

What is palliative care?

Many people think palliative care means “giving up,” but a growing number of medical providers and patients are recognizing the many ways it can benefit all types of patients with serious illnesses. Palliative care can provide patients with comfort and support when used with all types of treatment, including curative.

Palliative care—also known as supportive care—includes treatment of the discomfort, symptoms and stress of serious illness including advance care planning. Although end-of-life hospice services can be a component of palliative care, its true focus is to help patients manage their chronic illness and determine their goals for treatment regardless of where they are in their continuum of care.

As a designated Comprehensive Community Cancer Care Program (CCCP) by the Commission on Cancer (CoC), the Integrated Cancer Care program utilizes evidence-based national guidelines to plan treatments; offers genetic assessment, counseling options and clinical trials and continuously engages in quality improvement measures.
Speak with your integrated cancer care navigator for more information on palliative care, to learn more about the services provided in the Swedish Hospital Integrated Cancer Care Program and how to obtain a referral to a palliative care provider.

By David Modica | Published July 13, 2016
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