Hospice Care for Cancer Patients


Hospice Care for Cancer Patients

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Last Updated on October 3, 2021 by Frank Davis

If you are given a diagnosis that indicates you have less than six months to live, you will typically be advised to seek hospice care. Hospice does not treat or cure your cancer, the aim instead is to help you get the most from the time you have left.

In the event that your condition begins to improve, you can leave hospice care and go back to resume your active cancer treatment. You will be able to remain on hospice care for as long as you need if you survive beyond 6 months. 

When to Start Hospice Care for Cancer Patients

When a cancer patient is diagnosed with less than six months to live, they are considered to have an advanced stage of the disease, and are eligible for hospice care. Symptoms of cancer may vary depending on the type of cancer the patient is suffering from and they will also differ based on the stage of the disease. Nevertheless, there are a few signs that are commonly present among cancers that indicate the disease has progressed into a more severe state.

It may be time to think about getting hospice care if one or more of these apply:

  • Cancer is at an advanced stage
  • Rapid deterioration of the patient’s condition
  • Hospitalized a few times
  • Have side effects that make you want to stop your treatment
  • Lost a lot of weight
  • Rather stay at home than go to the hospital

How Does Hospice Care Help Cancer Patients

A team of healthcare professionals bring the hospice to wherever the patient calls home. The hospice interdisciplinary team consists of a physician, nurse, hospice aide, social worker, chaplain, volunteers, and counselors. Your condition will be constantly evaluated by your physician to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for you, and your plan of care will be continuously modified as your symptoms and condition change.

Some of the care that hospice can provide includes:

  • Nurse visits at your home for checkups
  • Home health aides to help with bathing and other routine care needs
  • Equipment needed to keep you comfortable, such as a hospital bed, oxygen, walker or wheelchair
  • Social work
  • Chaplains for spiritual support
  • Medications to help maintain your comfort
  • Physical therapy
  • Nutrition therapy
  • Counseling
  • Massage
  • Art or music therapy
  • Support for family members in providing care and grieving after the person dies
Further Reading:
Can You Transfer From One Hospice to Another

What if my Cancer Gets Better

In the event you improve, there may be a possibility for you not to need hospice care anymore. This would be one possible outcome, if the cancer was to improve or go into remission. The term remission is defined as a state of health in which no cancer can be found in the body and no symptoms are present.

Assuming the cancer improves, you might be able to start treatments again with the help of your doctor. Following a treatment protocol, you and your doctor will seek to alleviate any symptoms caused by your cancer. A cancer patient who is in remission will be monitored by his or her doctor to make sure there are no signs of the cancer coming back.

Conclusion

 It should be noted, that although hospice care is provided as part of end-of-life care, it does not result in a shorter life expectancy. In fact, certain diagnoses are associated with longer life expectancy when hospice enrollment is involved. Patients with cancer have shown to benefit from hospice care as it provides high quality, compassionate care. We will be happy to answer any questions about our hospice cancer care that you may have. Please call us at (818)433-0068 if you have queries.

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Further Reading:
Is Hospice Care Free

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Author: Frank Davis

After working in the healthcare field for over ten years, Frank Davis has developed considerable expertise and offers you valuable insights into the industry through blogs. He has published blogs for Hospice Valley, Senior Home Care, and 24 Hour Care, and in his leisure time, Frank enjoys reading and writing.

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