Palliative Care refers to the provision of specialized and comprehensive care to relieve all physical symptoms (e.g. pain, malaise, shortness of breath, etc.) as well as to relieve any stress related to a serious illness.
It encompasses the treatment of physical, psychosocial, and mental “suffering” encountered by people with serious illnesses as well as the provision of support to a patient's family members.
Palliative Care is suitable for patients of all ages and for chronic progressive diseases of any stage, while it is provided in parallel with specialized treatment for each disease. Its goal is to improve the quality of life of both patients and their families. Palliative Care is provided by a team of physicians, nurses, and other specialists, who work with each patient's treating physician to develop a care plan and provide guidance in the event that complex medical decisions need to be taken.
Palliative Care treats patients with:
- any stage of neoplastic disease suffering from disease symptoms and treatments
- Alzheimer's disease and related dementia disorders
- chronic severe neurological diseases (e.g. quadriplegia, paraplegia, etc.)
- neuromuscular disorders (e.g. myopathy, myositis, motor neuron disease, Guillain-Barré syndrome, etc.)
- severe osteoporosis, degenerative arthropathy
- rheumatic and autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.)
- chronic headaches-migraines
- neuralgia (trigeminal neuralgia, postherpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, etc.)
- organ failure (heart, respiratory, hepatic, renal)
What to expect from Palliative Medicine
- Relief of physical symptoms, including pain, shortness of breath, anorexia, malaise, fatigue, dry mouth, hiccups, nausea, vomiting, constipation, cough, itching, sleep disorders, etc.;
- psychological support;
- adjunctive therapies (medical acupuncture, reflexology, mesotherapy, TENS);
- self-awareness of both the disease and available treatment options;
- support in the decision-making process regarding treatments;
- ability to resume daily activities;
- improved ability to tolerate medical treatments;
- improved ability to deal with stress and everyday challenges caused by the disease;
- close interaction and care;
- encouragement to rehabilitate, socialize, and create; and
- mental reinforcement and preservation of hope.
Director: Kyriaki Mystakidou, Anesthesiologist