Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Palliative care?

Palliative care is the active medical treatment given for relief of pain and other symptoms in patients with prolonged and life-limiting illnesses like cancer. It is a ‘whole person’ approach and includes addressing the physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and financial  issues. The aim is to improve quality of life by enabling patients to be as active as possible and also to cope with the disease.


If a patient is referred to a specialist in palliative medicine, does it mean he is in the terminal stage?

No, definitely not! Palliative care can help right from the time of diagnosis, during anticancer treatment and more so in the advanced stage. It supports the patients emotionally and gives relief as and when they suffer from any physical symptom due to the disease or due to treatment of cancer throughout the illness.


Does taking morphine tablet mean that the disease is advanced?

Not necessarily. According to the World Health Organisation Guidelines, Morphine tablet should be given for severe pain whenever it occurs during the cancer illness. Patients may refuse to continue treatment because of the severe pain often caused by radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Taking morphine tablets will give good pain relief and help them complete their treatment after which the tablets can be stopped.


You are giving me morphine tablet now, what will I do if my pain increases?

Morphine tablet is one medicine which has no dose limit. It can be increased safely according to the severity of pain.


One of my family members had cancer. Will I also get it?

Not necessarily. But certain cancers may be hereditary which means a person may be at higher risk of getting cancer if his/ her relatives have had that particular cancer e.g. breast, ovarian, colorectal cancers. When in doubt write to us or talk your doctor.


Can cancer spread from one person to another?

Certainly not! Cancer is not an infection and is a non-communicable disease. it will NOT spread from one person to another. You can live in the same room and eat from the same plate! You can touch and take care without any worry.


Does morphine tablet help all kinds of pain?

No! Morphine is known to help the ordinary ‘wound type’ of pain-the kind that is continuous – that is why, in cancer, where the pain is largely due to ‘tissue injury’ morphine is helpful. But pain can be of other kinds: Example, nerve pain due to injury or compression of nerves, colicky pain related to stomach or intestine, muscle pain and headache due to many reasons. In all these situations, different types of pain killers according to the cause of the pain are given.

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