The quality of life among women with ovarian cancer can be preserved with patient-centric palliative care. A study has shown that palliative care can improve the quality of life of the patients and their families. They provide them with pain and symptom relief, psychosocial support through their journey of treatment.
Palliative care is often provided by specially-trained doctors, nurses, social workers and others who work alongside other doctors to give an extra layer of support. A study published in BMC Cancer has shown that palliative care can advise on the right possible treatment as per the condition and can also conduct counselling of the patient and the family to overcome stress and anxiety. This study (2019) has shown that palliative care also provides spiritual and emotional support to help patients communicate and live better with friends and family.
The World Health Organization (WHO) website describes palliative care as an approach that ‘addresses suffering beyond physical symptoms’ and ‘offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death’. Another study has shown that early integration of palliative in the treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer can improve the quality of life of the patients and prolong life too in some of the cases. However, palliative care is still uncommon among people with ovarian cancer due to lack of awareness and identification of psychiatric symptoms, an absence of support available or offered, lack of evidence around effective treatments, stigma, and patient preference.
Despite these challenges, palliative care is a promising solution to improve the quality of life among people with ovarian cancer. Further studies can shed light on the scenario of palliative care among Indians dealing with ovarian cancer.
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