Palliative Care & Symptom Management

Living with a serious illness, such as cancer, can be stressful. The journey from diagnosis through treatment can be challenging – even overwhelming at times.

Outpatient services provided at the Swedish Palliative Care and Symptom Management Clinics can help you manage the symptoms and stress associated with your illness or treatments.

In a comforting and compassionate way, your Palliative Care team will focus on:

  • Your physical needs
  • Providing psychological and spiritual support
  • Helping with social and family adjustments
  • Coordinating important resources

Our goal is to find and help you obtain the services you need. We will help you regain your mental and physical strength, so you can better tolerate your medical treatments. We will also help you understand your illness and treatments, so it is less confusing.

Learn more from Dr. Ellyn Lee, palliative care physician and director of palliative care at Swedish in this video.

When and why should I get Palliative Care?

Patients respond differently to treatment, so there is no “right” time to begin outpatient palliative care. Many people, however, benefit from beginning palliative care early in their treatment.

Studies show that palliative care helps patients:

  • Manage their pain and symptoms
  • Reduce or shorten hospital stays
  • Feel better
  • Live longer

You are the best judge of when the time is right to seek palliative care. You may want to consider making an appointment at the Swedish Palliative Care and Symptom Management Clinic if you have:

  • Uncontrolled pain
  • Symptoms that aren’t responding to treatment
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Psychological distress (anxiety, agitation, emotional or spiritual anguish)
  • Uncertainty about health-care decision, your quality of life or your progress

How is Palliative Care different from Hospice?

Both hospice and palliative care focus on managing symptoms and side effects. The main goal for both types of care is to improve a patient’s quality of life. The main differences are:

  • Who receives palliative or hospice care
  • When they receive it

Palliative Care

You can begin receiving palliative care as soon as you have been diagnosed. You can continue receiving this type of care as long as you need it and want it. Your medical team and palliative-care team work hand-in-hand, so palliative care becomes part of your treatment plan.

Hospice Care

When patients are no longer receiving treatment to cure their illness, they may choose to have hospice care. Hospice care focuses on making these patients comfortable and providing the best quality of life possible for the time they have remaining.

Does insurance cover Palliative Care services?

Most health insurance plans cover palliative care services. We will bill your insurance as a regular office visit.

Appointments & Referrals

How do I make a Palliative Care appointment?

Please ask your doctor for a referral to one of our Swedish Palliative Care and Symptom Management Clinics. We can also help you obtain the referral, so call us for more information or to schedule your visit.