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Palliative care

Palliative care can help you cope with the rigors of treatment and maintain the best possible physical and emotional wellbeing.

Our palliative care specialists have expertise in treating pain or other symptoms of serious or life-threatening illness. Our care team includes many specialties and improves quality of life so that treatment is better tolerated. You and your family can talk with your Palliative Care team about treatments, medications, troublesome symptoms or side effects, quality of life, spiritual emotional concerns, treatment preferences, advanced care planning, and life goals.


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Good for treating

The services we provide include:

  • medical evaluation and treatment of symptoms
  • discussion about the burdens and benefits of treatment of disease, goals for medical treatment, and the social, physiological or spiritual challenges of living with a  serious illness
  • referrals to other physicians, oncology social workers, cancer psychologists, cancer rehabilitation assessment, physical therapy, spiritual care, nutrition services and integrative health therapies (At Abbott Northwestern and Mercy hospitals, integrative health therapies are provided in partnership with the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing.)

Treatments may include:

  • integrative therapies
  • nutritional guidance
  • occupational therapy
  • physical therapy

Emotional, social, and coping problems. Patients and their families face stress during illness that can lead to fear, anxiety, hopelessness, or depression. Family members may take on care giving, even if they also have jobs and other duties.

Treatments may include:

  • counseling
  • family meetings
  • referrals to mental health providers
  • support groups

Good to know

Will my own physician(s) continue to be involved?
Yes. Our team will provide consultation to your regular physician who will continue to manage your care. 

How does palliative care differ from hospice?
Palliative care is provided throughout your illness, in conjunction with active treatment like radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or other medical therapy. If needed, we can help with a transition to hospice.

End-of-life care
If an illness progresses to an advanced stage where end of life care is necessary, treatment to relieve pain and other symptoms continues. The goal is to help all individuals live life to its fullest.

Related links

Source: Allina Health Cancer Care
Reviewed by: Allina Health Cancer Care

First published: 6/3/2019
Last reviewed: 6/3/2019