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Therapy Options

Patient Information

The main aim of palliative care is to improve, stabilise and maintain the quality of life of our patients as their illness progresses. The impact on our patients' quality of life are varied, ranging from symptoms such as loss of appetite, dyspnoea, vomiting, nausea, weight loss, muscle weakness and pain, to more or less pronounced limitations in mobility and range of motion. We also provide comprehensive care for people with anxiety, insomnia and depression.

Many of the above symptoms may occur gradually over the course of the disease, but may eventually become severe enough to require effective treatment. These include pain, which is often tolerated for too long. Today's treatments can relieve pain so effectively that, in the best case, there is no noticeable reduction in quality of life. This is usually possible with medication. In rare cases, so-called invasive procedures are necessary, in which individual nerve tracts are specifically blocked. Modern pain pumps can also be used to successfully treat pain at home when tablets or patches alone are no longer sufficient.

Dyspnoea, a common symptom of advanced cancer, can also be effectively treated with a variety of measures, ranging from drug therapies to effective management of pleural effusions and physiotherapeutic and/or psychological training to manage dyspnoea.

We also pay particular attention to the management of appetite, weight loss and muscle wasting, which affects almost all patients with advanced cancer. In such cases, a great deal of knowledge and care is required to decide whether artificial nutrition is appropriate and likely to be successful in the given situation, whether nutritional supplements can be used to compensate for the lack of food caused by the disease, or whether any measure at all should be taken to counteract the lack of appetite caused by the disease. This is often neither possible nor sensible, especially in advanced disease, because the body can no longer absorb and process the energy contained in food, even if it is administered by infusion.

Many patients' symptoms affect the musculoskeletal system and there is often a more or less pronounced physical handicap. In this case, a detailed physical-medical examination is carried out to identify the main problems and work out an appropriate solution, ranging from classic physiotherapy measures such as massage or lymphatic drainage to orthopaedic aids. The aim is to improve and maintain our patients' mobility for as long as possible, as this is one of the most important components of a good quality of life.

Ultimately, the goal of discharge can only be achieved if adequate care is provided at home. This is often provided in a self-sacrificing way by family and friends. By cooperating with social workers and other professionals, and by making full use of the public resources available for this purpose, it is usually possible to relieve the burden on family carers and thus achieve a stable care situation at home, even if this was considered impossible from the outset.

Palliative medicine or palliative care is also understood as a concept of care and support for relatives and friends who are affected in many ways by the cancer of a family member. By working together with the patient, their family and friends, the palliative care unit and support services outside the hospital, it is possible to provide optimal and comprehensive care for  patients, resulting in a good and stable quality of life despite advanced illness.