What is palliative care?

Palliative care focuses on providing physical, emotional and social support to people with an incurable or life-limiting illness and extends this care to families, friends and carers. There are a wide-range of chronic life-limiting conditions which may require palliative care, including advanced cancer.

Palliative care is delivered by a team of medical and allied health professionals including:

  • Your GP
  • A palliative care specialist
  • Cancer specialists such as medical oncologists, radiation oncologists or haematologists
  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Pharmacists
  • Dietitians
  • Occupational therapists
  • Psychologists

As every person’s needs are unique, the palliative care they receive will be different and can change over time. However, the care you receive from your palliative care team may include:

  • Relief of pain and symptoms associated with your condition
  • Support for families, friends and carers
  • Access to resources and equipment
  • Counselling and grief support
  • Referral to other services
  • End-of-life care

Palliative care for cancer patients

A cancer diagnosis can be incredibly difficult for both you and your family.

When the focus is no longer curing your cancer, palliative care can help by reducing cancer symptoms and treatment-related side effects, slowing the growth or spread of cancer and addressing emotional and social concerns for both yourself and your family.

What palliative treatments can help people with advanced cancer?

There are many different treatments that play a role in palliative care for people with cancer. The type of treatment you receive will depend on you and your cancer, and may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and surgery.

  • Radiation therapy – uses highly-targeted radiation to destroy cancer cells, reduce the growth or spread of cancer and relieve symptoms. This can help improve your quality of life by controlling symptoms associated with your cancer and reducing your pain levels
  • Drug therapies, such as chemotherapy and targeted therapy – involves the use of anti-cancer drugs to stop further spread of the cancer throughout your body
  • Surgery – may be performed to remove tumours and relieve pain and discomfort

Caring for you at Icon

At Icon, we are committed to supporting you and your family throughout every step of your cancer journey. Whether you are an existing patient with us or are considering beginning treatment at an Icon Cancer Centre, our dedicated team work hand-in-hand with palliative care specialists to provide you with the care you need, when you need it most. Please speak with your doctor or a member of our compassionate staff to find out how Icon can support you to access comprehensive palliative and end-of-life care.

Support for you and your family

There are many exceptional services available for you and your family to help you learn more about palliative and end-of-life care and access support during this difficult time. We encourage you to speak with your care team about which options might suit you and your loved ones, in addition to the support services below:

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Find out how to become a patient at Icon Cancer Centre, or request more information from your nearest centre.
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Our doctors

Icon brings together some of Australia’s most experienced medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and haematologists.
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Care at Icon

At Icon, care is more than just a word. Our cancer care team are here to support you with compassion, knowledge and hope.
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