Facts vs. Myths About Palliative Care

UC San Diego Health's palliative care service is one of the busiest in the country, and offers comprehensive and compassionate care for cancer patients throughout their treatment. Yet palliative care is often misunderstood.

Myth: Palliative care is the same as hospice care.

Fact: Although palliative and hospice care share the same principles of comfort and support, palliative care begins at diagnosis and continues during treatment and beyond. Palliative care is not synonymous with end-of-life care.

Myth: If I accept palliative care, I won’t get treatment.

Fact: Palliative care is given in addition to your prescribed treatment. It will continue to be provided to alleviate your symptoms and emotional issues throughout the course of your treatment.

Myth: You have to give up your other physicians to receive palliative care.

Fact: Our palliative care specialists will make recommendations to your oncologist and other physicians about the management of your pain and other symptoms. You will continue to receive care from your other physicians.

Myth: Only patients can benefit from palliative care.

Fact: Everyone involved can benefit, including family caregivers. Your doctors and nurses benefit, too, because they know they are meeting your needs by providing care that reduces suffering and improves quality of life.

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Palliative Care Service

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La Jolla

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Clinical Trials

For palliative care clinical trials, see Moores Cancer Center Clinical Trial Search and select Palliative Care.