As a cancer patient, you are not alone, but every patient experiences his or her disease differently. Your age, race, culture, support system and unique personality all play a part in your disease and your feelings of well being. 這些因素也會影響您可能需要的緩和療護類型。緩和療護 does not cure or treat your cancer. Instead, palliative care relieves physical, emotional and psychosocial symptoms. It can begin when you are diagnosed with cancer and continue through all phases of treatment and follow-up to the end of life.
在癌症確診後及治療期間，病患和 家人必須 找到因應癌症的機制。緩和療護可採用諮詢、支持團體、家庭聚會和類似活動來解決病患的憂鬱、焦慮和害怕等情緒。
痛苦、疲憊、缺乏食慾、噁心／嘔吐、呼吸短促和失眠都是癌症的身體症狀。 Drugs and holistic approaches such as nutrition or deep breathing address those symptoms, while palliative chemotherapy can shrink a tumor causing pain.
除了疾病以外，癌症病患及其家人有許多其他擔憂； 其中包括財務壓力、法律問題、工作顧慮、交通和房屋等問題。光是了解醫療表格上的用語和細節就令人望之卻步。 A member of the palliative care team can find community resources, answer questions and make practical suggestions.
無論您的信仰讓您更堅定，或您覺得信仰背棄了您，在被診斷出癌症時，心靈問題就會自然出現。 Even those who had no religious convictions prior to being ill, question things such as, "Why is this happening to me?" or "What happens after we die?" 緩和療護可解決有關您文化和傳統方面的問題，幫助您接受現況。
緩和療護已證明可有效改善病患的生活品質。 When your symptoms are controlled and you feel like there is someone to listen, you feel better and live better. Palliative consults result in lower healthcare costs, because you choose to stay out of the hospital and say no to unnecessary tests and treatment; at some point, more treatment does not equal better care. If/when curative treatments are no longer effective, all of your needs are met with palliative care.
緩和療護會在癌症中心和醫院提供；這些地方有緩和療護專家或完整的團隊提供服務。有些癌症中心設有能解決特定緩和療護問題的計劃或診所；主要解決淋巴水腫、疼痛管理、性功能和社會心理等類的問題。 If you live at home or in a long term care facility, a hospice team or physician might provide palliative care for you.