We, through the Parkway Cancer Centre (PCC)-vehicle, which is Singapore’s first private-healthcare organisation to provide palliative care as part of a holistic cancer programme, offer a strong support system to cater to the psychosocial needs of our patients and their families. To safeguard the quality of life of our patients, our palliative care specialist works closely with the medical and radiation oncologists to achieve the optimal pain relief and symptoms control. While palliative medicine is an integral part of our comprehensive cancer programme to provide the best possible cancer care for our patients, not every patient that has been discharged needs palliative care. It is especially for patients who require specific services such as cancer pain management, discharge and home care planning, advance care planning and end-of-life care planning.
We administer palliative care on the following fronts:
- Cancer pain management: About a quarter of the patients with advanced cancers suffer from severe cancer pain. This pain may be difficult to control. Sometimes the pain-relieving medication may cause side effects. Our palliative care specialist helps to reassess and manage the cancer pain, as well as help minimize the side effects of the pain-relieving medications.
- Discharge and home care planning: Patients with advanced cancers may get weaker and require more than the usual care at home. Our palliative care specialist can evaluate the condition and determine the nursing and equipment needed by the patient at home. Also, we will link up with appropriate services that will provide the necessary nursing care and equipment rental/purchase. We also arrange for home visits for the patients who are too weak to see us in the clinics.
- Advance care planning: Advanced Care Planning is a new concept that is getting popular in the United States of America and Australia. Our palliative care specialist can help the patient to plan and document his own wishes regarding his medical treatment in advance, and to appoint a substitute decision maker, in the event he loses the mental capacity to do so in the future.
- End-of-life care: Patients with advanced cancers may suffer from many symptoms in their last days. These symptoms can be very distressing to them and their family members. Our palliative care specialist can help to assess and address these symptoms so that they can be more comfortable in the place of care.