July is Sarcoma Awareness Month. The holiday was initiated because too many people are unfamiliar with sarcoma until a family member or they themselves are diagnosed with this type of cancer. Palliative care options are an important item to consider if your family member has been diagnosed with sarcoma. Having as many options as possible is vital when dealing with a serious illness.
What Is Sarcoma?
Sarcoma is a rare form of cancer. It can occur anywhere in the body, typically in soft tissues or in bones. The tissues sarcoma targets are typically connective and supportive tissues, but this cancer can occur in blood vessels, nerves, tendons, joint linings, muscle, and even fat deposits. There are numerous forms of sarcoma, making treatment dependent on the type and location of the sarcoma.
Palliative Care Is Not a Curative Treatment
Palliative treatments are often confused with curative therapies, like radiation or chemotherapy. But that’s not entirely the case with this type of care. Palliative care is offered for sarcoma patients to help manage symptoms and improve the overall quality of life for your family member. That means that this type of care can be offered concurrently with curative therapy choices, if that’s what your family member wants to do.
Palliative Therapies Are Available at Any Stage of Illness
The types of care offered by palliative therapies are available as soon as your family member is diagnosed with sarcoma. There’s no need for her to wait until a certain point, such as near the end of her life, if she wants to take advantage of the help that palliative therapies can offer to her. This can help to make the curative treatments that she undergoes easier to manage as well.
Palliative Treatments Give Your Family Member Options
Ultimately, palliative care treatments give your family more options to help manage her sarcoma. Serious illnesses can be so frustrating to manage and when you factor in pain, both from the disease and from treatments, life can be difficult to say the least. Having as many options as possible is never a bad thing at all and it can help your family member to not give up on the treatments she’s chosen.
Your Family Member’s Medical Team Works with the Palliative Team
The palliative team working with your family member is separate from her medical team, but they coordinate with each other. Palliative providers make sure that your family member’s medical team are fully informed about what other treatments she’s receiving and how she’s doing. This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that your family member is getting the care that she needs.
Exploring all of the options available after your family member is diagnosed with sarcoma is vital. It helps to ensure that all of her needs are met and that she’s able to have the best possible quality of life as she continues to battle sarcoma. Palliative care may be exactly what she needs in combination with other types of care.