How Does Palliative Care Help Cancer Patients?

Cancer is a serious illness – at any stage – and patients often experience painful symptoms and side effects that can make treatment more difficult to tolerate, both physically and emotionally. Seeking assistance from palliative care professionals can help patients maintain quality of life throughout treatment. But what do palliative care clinicians do, and how … Continued

Tips for Starting Difficult Conversations with Your Care Team

By James Tulsky, MD James Tulsky, MD, is chair of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at Dana-Farber, with a longstanding research interest in clinician-patient communication and quality of life for patients with serious illnesses. He is also founding director of VitalTalk, a non-profit with a mission to nurture healthier connections between clinicians and patients through … Continued

Oncology and Palliative Care Team Up to Benefit Patients

A cancer care team often involves quite a few players: oncologists, nurses, radiation oncologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and others. While these experts often improve patient outcomes, such a large multidisciplinary team can sometimes make communication and coordination difficult. Dana-Farber’s Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care department is working to change that. Palliative care clinicians are now … Continued

Pain Medication and Cancer: What You Need to Know

Cancer and its treatment cause pain for many patients, whether from the location of a tumor, the tumor spreading to another area such as the bones, or from side effects of chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. “Each person is unique in their pain experiences, as well as how they respond to the pain and its medication,” … Continued

How Can Palliative Care Benefit Pediatric Cancer Patients?

Joanne Wolfe, MD, MPH, founded the Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT) in 1997 to help ensure children who are living with life-threatening diseases like cancer, and their families, enjoy the best quality of life.  The program, a part of Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, … Continued

What You Should Know about Palliative Care

By Eric Schuller Palliative care is often misunderstood. People may associate it with end-of-life care or “giving up” – especially when facing a serious health challenge like cancer. But palliative care may not be what you think, and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it. Here’s a closer look at what palliative care is … Continued