Hospice care is reserved for individuals who have been given a diagnosis of six months or less to live. Patients who are struggling with terminal pancreatic cancer and have been told by their physician that curative treatment may no longer be beneficial may decide to elect hospice care. The focus of hospice is to enhance the overall quality of life for a patient allowing them to live life to the fullest during their final days.
Coping with terminal pancreatic cancer is oftentimes challenging and the news can be difficult for loved ones to hear. There are no clear and easy answers for how to manage life with terminal pancreatic cancer. However, there are certain measures patients can take to help them cope.
Become Educated About Your Disease
Becoming more educated about your disease can assist in coping and in making decisions regarding care. Your healthcare providers should be your primary source of information. Asking your healthcare providers about the specifics of your cancer and your treatment options can help decrease stress by allowing you to make educated decisions. For additional research, patients can review educational materials such as those provided by the National Cancer Institute.
Setting Up a Support System
Having a strong foundation of support from friends and family can help shoulder the difficult burdens often imposed by pancreatic cancer. Assistance with a variety of tasks from organizing doctor visits to helping with daily life activities can make a significant difference in how comfortable a patient will feel as their disease progresses. Additionally, the peace of mind of not having to worry about tasks can help alleviate a patient’s anxiety.
Communicating Needs and Feelings
Friends and family are vital when setting up an effective support network. Frequently, friends and family may find it difficult to hear the specifics regarding how a patient is struggling. Talking to a counselor, medical social worker, or spiritual professional can help patients unload some of their worries without putting additional strain on their community.
Talking With Other Cancer Survivors
Sometimes, individuals afflicted with pancreatic cancer may find it difficult to discuss their feelings with others because they feel as though other people cannot relate to their circumstances. In these cases, patients may find it beneficial to talk with a cancer support group. Oftentimes, support can be found by connecting with the Pancreatic Action Network which can provide thoughtful guidance via phone or online.
The Benefits of Hospice for Pancreatic Cancer Patients
If a patient with pancreatic cancer has been given six months or less to live, they can consider electing hospice care. Hospice care for cancer patients effectively addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of individuals suffering from terminal pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer presents its own unique care challenges which are most effectively managed by an interdisciplinary hospice team. Hospice care extends beyond solely the patient and helps to support those who are closest to the patients.
A hospice care team will continue to adjust and improve a patient’s care regimen based on the needs of the patient and the progression of their disease. Pancreatic cancer patients must remember that electing hospice is not giving up, it is deciding to make the most out of their remaining time. Hospice care allows for more comfortable days and the ability to spend those days in a peaceful, familiar setting surrounded by those that they love.
Traditions Health is Ready to Support You
Facing a terminal disease is frightening, but patients and families do not have to face it alone. The hospice mission emphasizes the holistic care that patients and their loved ones need to navigate this difficult time. If you or someone you care about is struggling with pancreatic cancer, click the Request Care button below to speak with a Traditions Health representative and learn more about the benefits of compassionate care.
- Acute Kidney Injury
- Advance Directive
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Home Health Care
- Hospice Care
- Multiple Myeloma
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Occupational Therapy
- Palliative Care
- Physical Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Spiritual Counselor
- Stroke Patients