Often called supportive care, palliative care is care that improves the patient's quality of life. It can be given at any stage of cancer to relieve symptoms of the disease or to reduce discomfort caused by treatment. Palliative medicine offered at Akron General Medical Center includes pain management and may use medication to ease the symptoms of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Radiation therapy is also used to reduce tumors that are causing discomfort. Patients should keep their doctors and care providers informed of symptoms they may be having. Together, they can decide what options work best for the individual.
For some families, palliative medicine will include hospice care. It is a unique program for patients with limited life expectancy to help the patient and family with end of life decision-making, meeting life's goals, enhancing family relationships and promoting comfort. Hospice care is provided by a specially trained team of caring health professionals and volunteers who strive to keep patients and their families comfortable, at peace and in control of their lives during a changing time.
Hospice care may be given at home, a nursing home or the Hospice Care Center. Referrals to Akron General Health System member, Hospice of Visiting Nurse Service can be made by the patient, families and friends, physicians, clergy or other health professionals. Care is available 24 hours a day, every day in Medina, Portage, Stark and Summit Counties. For more information on Hospice of VNS, call 330-665-1455 or toll free1-800-335-1455Click here for other Cancer Institute services
For information about Akron General's McDowell Cancer Institute, our services and programs, call 330-344-HOPE (4763).