Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

Cancer Care

Santa Clara Medical Center

News & Events

Dr. Pan and Dr. Lee's Blog

Thrive with Palliative Care

Mar 01, 2012

By Esther Luo, MD

Many patients who come to our outpatient Palliative Care Clinic have no idea why they are there. Most have not heard of palliative care or confuse it with hospice (end-of-life care), assuming that being sent to our clinic means giving up on hope. Quite the opposite: palliative care is designed to improve patients’ quality of life and can often increase survival.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is often recommended for patients dealing with serious illness, such as cancer. Our palliative care team includes specially trained physicians, nurses, and social workers. Together they focus on helping relieve pain, stress, and other symptoms while providing an additional layer of support to patients, their families, and their physicians.

What does our outpatient palliative care program do for cancer patients?

Relieve pain. Many cancer patients experience pain which affects their ability to work and to enjoy time spent with family and friends. Our palliative care team helps patients manage their pain and improve their quality of life.

Relieve symptoms related to cancer treatment, including chemotherapy and radiation. Cancer treatments can cause uncomfortable side effects. Our palliative care team helps patients get through treatments and manage these side effects.

Relieve stress for patients and their families. Living with cancer can be stressful for both the patient and their family. Our palliative care team can provide psychological, emotional, and spiritual support. We can also help you explain treatments and expected outcomes to help patients make informed medical decisions.

What is the difference between palliative care and hospice?

Palliative care is provided for patients at any phase of illness regardless of life expectancy or stage of cancer and is provided at the same time as curative treatments. Hospice, on the other hand, is for patients who are terminally ill (who have a life expectancy of 6 months or less) and focuses on comfort instead of cure.

Who benefits from palliative care?

Palliative care is appropriate for all patients regardless of age, stage of cancer, or prognosis. Patients can receive palliative care at the same time as other cancer treatments. Starting palliative care early has actually been shown to help improve care outcomes.

Our palliative care team is here to help you with your cancer diagnosis and treatment. By getting palliative care early in your treatment, we can help you and your family, thrive.

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