Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is medical care that improves the quality of life for patients who have a serious illness, such as cancer.  It is a comprehensive approach to minimize symptoms and distress that can occur with serious illness. Palliative care teams facilitate communication between patient, families, and providers. In addition, we aim to relieve stress and worry by addressing the practical needs of both patient and family.


Who can receive it?

Palliative care can begin at diagnosis and continue through treatment and beyond. Essentially, any patient with cancer can receive palliative care. 


Can I still receive cancer treatment?

Palliative care does not replace your cancer treatment. You will continue to follow with your cancer team and primary care provider while receiving palliative care.
We partner with your care team.


How We Can Help

Our palliative care team can help:

Manage symptoms caused by cancer or its treatment, including:

  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation

• Treat depression and anxiety related to cancer

• Provide emotional support and referrals for spiritual support

• Enhance communication with doctors and family members

• Support you in becoming clear on what your goals are for your care and treatment

• Assist you in completing healthcare directives


Getting Started

Your provider may recommend palliative care services. You may also request an appointment from your healthcare team. Services are available to all patients via telemedicine or in clinic. Your family members and caregivers are an important part of your care. We encourage you to include them in your appointment. After your initial appointment, the team will follow up with you on a regular basis to address concerns and provide ongoing support.


Will insurance cover this?

Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers typically cover palliative care services. 


Benefits of Palliative Care

Studies have shown that adding palliative care to your cancer care can:

  • Improve quality of life
  • Possibly extend length of life
  • Help reduce caregiver stress

Emotional

Patients and families can experience a multitude of emotions with a cancer diagnosis. The palliative care team can help patients cope with difficult emotions by prescribing medications, facilitating family meetings, and providing referrals to support groups or mental health professionals.

Practical

The palliative care team can identify resources for. the practical concerns that may arise with cancer. treatments. Common concerns include finances, help within the home, nutrition, and legal questions.  We can also help you to prepare for future care needs.


Meet our Palliative Care Team:

Emily Schafhauser, MD
Fridley Clinic
St. Paul Cancer Center

Bruce Anderson, RN, RNCS, CNP
Maplewood Cancer  Center
Woodbury Clinic


Danna Renner, MSN, APRN-CNS, ACNS-BC
Burnsville Clinic
Edina Clinic
Plymouth Clinic

 

Katie Akre, APRN, CNP
Chaska Clinic
Coon Rapids Clinic
Minneapolis Clinic


Minnesota Network of Palliative Care & Hospice: http://www.mnhpc.org/Additional Resources:

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network: http://acscan.org/qualityoflife
The Center to Advance Palliative Care: http://getpalliativecare.org/
Choosing Wisely: https://mnoncology.com/images/uploads/Palliative-Care-Support-at-any-time-during-a-serious-illness.pdf
The Center to Advance Palliative Care video explaining palliative care: https://youtu.be/nsSr3fSS2Ws?list=UUTcl0ZX34NVJj77Hm2_1OLg