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  • Faith, spirituality sustain these rare disease patients I just wrote about my patient (and friend) and the struggles of people with a rare disease. A new book, Sunita Puri’s “That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour,” reminded me how poorly the U.S. deals with palliative care—a specialty that focuses on...
  • If you or a relative has a terminal illness and you've exhausted all treatment options, you might consider hospice care. Find out how hospice care works and how it can provide comfort and support. What is hospice care? Hospice care is for people who are nearing the end of life. The services are provided by a team...
  • “Just remember data always has a face.” That was the advice that Michael Becker, a former biotechnology company chief executive who now has head and neck cancer, told the assembled executives at the Forbes Healthcare Summit in New York last month. Behind every data point in every spreadsheet, there is a human being,...
  • CRAFTSBURY, Vt. (AP) — What will my death look like? If that question causes anxiety or fear or confusion, Anne-Marie Keppel can help. Just as midwives and birth doulas help bring a new life into the world, death doulas help ease a life out. And that kind of support is more and more in demand, as the baby boomer...
  • Experts say such care should be expanded to include people who aren’t yet in hospice. Palliative care helps relieve stress, anxiety, and depression in cancer patients. Getty Images Outpatient palliative care can improve the quality of life for people with advanced cancer. It can also improve length of life, according...
  • Q: Are hospice and palliative care the same thing? A: People often confuse palliative care with hospice. Both types of care ease the suffering severe illness can bring — pain, troublesome symptoms, depression and more. The difference is in their timing. You can begin palliative care at any time. It is usually given in...
  • A furrowed brow and flailing arms were all we had to go on. The grimacing, the way the patient flung his head from side to side — all of it signified an unvoiced anguish. We tried talking, listening, morphine. His agitation only grew. All cancers have the power to ravage a body, but each assails in distinctive ways....
  • FRIDAY, Feb. 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Do you have things you want to do before your time's up? If so, consider sharing that so-called "bucket list" with your doctors. Those discussions could help your doctors provide health care that fits your life plans, researchers say. And for people with a chronic or even...
  • To many people, the word “doula” refers to a childbirth coach. But doulas aren’t only available for when life begins — they can help when life ends too. An end-of-life doula is a nonmedical professional trained to care for a terminally ill person’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs during the death process....
  • MONDAY, July 9, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The amount spent on end-of-life care for cancer patients varies widely across the United States, and is largely influenced by doctor preferences, new research finds. "Numerous studies have shown that greater spending and more care at the end of life do not contribute to better...
  • THURSDAY, June 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- While nearly all physicians say end-of-life conversations are important, many report lacking the training to have such conversations, according to a brief report published online May 23 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Terry Fulmer, Ph.D., from the John A....
  • (HealthDay News) -- Hospice focuses on treating the person rather than the disease, providing comfortable, compassionate and humane care for people in the last stages of a terminal illness. While the focus may differ based in the disease and dying person's condition, the American Cancer Society says hospices often...
  • MARY HILBURN spent the last three years watching her partner of 17 years, Jo Allison Bennett, die of brain cancer. Their families weren’t supportive, and many of their friends found the experience too emotionally wrenching to become very involved. So in the last few months of Ms. Bennett’s life, Ms. Hilburn turned for...
  • If you or a loved one has a serious or life-threatening illness, you might have thought about palliative care. To understand palliative care and how it can help relieve pain and improve quality of life, consider the following questions.   What is palliative care? Palliative care is specialized medical care that...
  • NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Cancer patients receiving palliative care have disturbed sleep-wake cycles, researchers from Canada have found. Sleep problems plague nearly all patients with advanced cancer, and non-pharmacological interventions are needed to improve patients’ circadian rhythms, the team notes online...
  • FRIDAY, April 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Picture-guided spiritual care is feasible among mechanically ventilated adults and may reduce their anxiety, according to a study published online April 20 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. Joel N. Berning, from New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City,...
  • Last year, when an oncologist advised that Betty Chin might benefit from palliative care, her son Kevin balked. Mrs. Chin, a retired nurse’s aide who lives in Manhattan’s Chinatown, was undergoing treatment for a recurrence of colorectal cancer. Her family understood that radiation and chemotherapy wouldn’t cure her,...
  • Hospice and palliative care are terms often mistakenly used interchangeably. People tend to associate them both with the end of life. But that’s not always the case. Despite what many people may think, these two types of care aren’t synonymous. “People misconstrue the two all the time,” says palliative care specialist...
  • TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Palliative care can ease the burden that a serious illness places on both a patient and loved ones, but there's no evidence that it can extend the life of a sick person, a review of the available evidence has concluded. People who receive palliative care have better quality...
  • TUESDAY, Sept. 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Despite a growing list of debilitating symptoms during the final months of life, most seniors never receive end-of-life hospice care -- or they delay doing so until their last few weeks of life, new research finds. "The main message is that the duration of hospice is very...