What is palliative care?
Palliative care is an approach to care in which your oncologist takes your individual needs and quality of life into account when treating the symptoms of cancer and its treatments. It is provided to make patients living with cancer as comfortable and pain-free as possible, as well as to enhance the quality of life so that patients continue to live productive and meaningful lives. This includes paying attention to the effects of cancer in a holistic manner, such that not only the physical aspect is considered, but a multi-disciplinary team approach is used to optimise physical, mental, social and spiritual health. Preferably palliative care should be provided at any point of a cancer diagnosis, no matter the stage or severity of the cancer, as opposed to its historical location in the end-stages of the cancer trajectory.
What does palliative medicine involve?
Dr Pelisa Ford offers comprehensive cancer care in which the goal of palliative care is to manage pain, provide support and guidance as well as treat the symptoms and side effects of cancer and its treatment. Using a holistic approach to care, the psychological, social, and spiritual aspects are considered when addressing symptom and pain management, and ultimately the quality of life and livelihood.
Being diagnosed with cancer is a life-changing event that can be emotionally and physically draining for those diagnosed as well as the family and friends thereof. Palliative care, therefore, includes the guidance from your oncologist with regards to treatment choices, as well as support in communicating your personal goals and values to your family and friends, who perform a vital role in your care and healing process.
Dr Ford’s practice welcomes individuals at all phases in their cancer journey. Whether you have come to terms with your diagnosis, are still working through it or have done research on treatments already, you are welcome to bring your concerns, questions and your support team with you to your consultations.
Palliative care from a holistic approach can be very beneficial to the physical, mental, and social health as well as the quality of life of the patient and their family alike. Patients diagnosed with advanced cancer are urged to discuss their goals, desires and their concerns with their oncologist when it comes to living with their diagnosis. Dr Pelisa Ford and her multi-disciplinary team have the compassion and expertise to provide holistic palliative care that addresses every aspect of the person’s being in order to reduce the burden for individuals throughout their cancer journey.
Because of Dr Ford’s palliative care training, skill set and experience, palliative oncology and palliative radiotherapy are the unique focus areas of her practice. She focuses on the following areas when approaching palliative medicine:
- Management and treatment of cancer-related symptoms such as pain, nausea, fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, constipation and other physical symptoms
- Providing crucial information and guidance concerning cancer treatment options, related side-effects and what to expect from treatment
- Nutritional guidance with the approval of an oncology-experienced dietician
- Assistance in arranging vital resources such as caregivers, transportation and medical equipment
- Emotional support and guidance for you and your loved ones alike through close partnership with and oncology-experienced social worker
- Providing support for diagnosis related depression
- Assistance in care planning for adults with end-stage cancer in terms of wishes, belongings and responsibility for the future