Earlier this year, Jo wrote a piece on a wish for ‘palliative care’ to be renamed ‘supportive care‘ because it is so intrinsically tied in most people’s minds with ‘end of life’ (EOL) care, whereas actually, as I discuss in this video – it’s about improving quality of life (so in an ideal world, palliative care specialists should be involved at initial diagnoses of even primary cancers, but of course there’s not so much funding for this!):
@drbexlToday’s ##OpinionMinute is a thought about ##PalliativeCare from an incurable ##Cancer ##BusyLivingWithMets♬ original sound – Bex Lewis
I’ve felt fortunate that my palliative care specialists (largely provided through Macmillan Cancer Care), have not focused upon ‘EOL’, but are interested in improving pain management and quality of life for the now, although longer-term issues do come up in conversation.
I attended a session with Breast Cancer Care/Now event in 2019, labelled as ‘Palliative Care‘ and was interested that only a couple of other people came to the session, and all of us were concerned that it would be about EOL. The speaker for the session, Tracey Coleby, was clear that only a small percentage of their work at The Christie is about EOL, and it’s more about helping people have better quality of lived life. She was concerned that in trying to change the description to ‘supportive care’, that would soon become associated with EOL too.
The other week, I attended a session with Shine Cancer Care, which was a session labelled ‘Living Well with Incurable Cancer’ (and not palliative care), and captured a number of tweets – with the overriding message from this session that Jonathan Koffman ran, was that palliative care seeks to ‘add life to years, and add years to life’.