Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Give to Mayo ClinicHelp set a new world standard in care for people everywhere. Give now.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
I'm receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer and my doctor has suggested I see a palliative care specialist. Does this mean my prognosis isn't good?
Not necessarily. Palliative care is for anyone who has been diagnosed with a serious illness and may have symptoms from that illness or its treatment. The goal of the palliative care specialist is to reduce any signs and symptoms you may experience and make you more comfortable.
Palliative care is often confused with hospice care, which is generally for people with terminal illnesses. Hospice care workers provide palliative care, but palliative care can be given at any time during an illness, not just at the end of life.
A palliative care specialist works with your doctor and a team of chaplains, counselors, nurses and other professionals to create an individualized plan to reduce signs and symptoms you experience during your treatment. This can make it more likely that you'll complete your treatment and maintain a quality of life that allows you to continue doing things that are important to you.
Recent data shows that for people with certain types of cancer, early use of palliative care services not only makes them feel better, but also helps them live longer when compared with people who get standard treatment only.
Timothy J. Moynihan, M.D.
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Proceeds from website advertising help support our mission. Mayo Clinic does not endorse non-Mayo products and services.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.