The mistaken impression of palliative care is that it's something
that you do as an end-of-life issue.
The reality of palliative care is that it is the on-going communication
between doctor and patient to insure the comfort and desired quality
of life of the patient. It goes from being certain that care is
taken to prevent infection from a biopsy to understanding simple
side effects of diagnostic tests to the major conditions resulting
from surgery, radiation, hormonal and/or chemotherapeutic treatments.
It is the assurance that proper pain medication will be available
to you and administered effectively to permit you to live your life
Above all palliation means that you must not accept pain, discomfort,
disabling side-effects or diminished quality-of-life; you MUST communicate
with your doctors at every step of the process to understand what
is to be done to you, what the possible side-effects are and how
you can deal with them.
We have enclosed here
an interview with Dr. Richard Payne, a foremost practitioner in
palliative care, who relates his own experience with prostate cancer
and gives us guidance on what we should require of our doctors.